Review Summary: Journey through the Alps.
Reading Cân Bardd's band camp bio caused me to be struck with awe. Seeing a band list their influences as "Saor, Caladan Brood, Gallowbraid and Elderwind" was almost astounding. It's almost like witnessing the flourishing progression of a whole new set of black metal. Not even a decade ago there were few acts even performing this new wave of "fantasy" black metal, yet now we're bearing witness to a growth staggering enough that a band can list its founders as their own foundation for their music.
It's a beautiful thing to pay witness to, as Cân Bardd craft a sound that alters beneath quiet elegance and a bold grandiosity. As aforementioned influence Saor weaved together images of misty Scottish highlands, Cân Bardd crafts the sound of winds howling across the towering Swiss Alps. There isn't a large amount of finesse behind it-the somewhat fuzzy production and minimalist structures do remind you that they are a band in their fledgling stage, however they carry enough heart and identity to overcome this. The Silence of Nature
might wear the sparkling beauty of Elderwind and the grand crescendo's of Saor on it's sleeve, yet it feels wholly it's own. Perhaps it's the adventurous and explosive intro to a song like "My Ancestors", or maybe it's the slight tinge of melancholy off of the closing chapter to our Swiss saga "A Gift For Nature". Whatever it may be, it is done seamlessly and without the type of cheese that makes you want to stomp on your D&D set in shame.
There is one double edged sword on this album, and that would be it's length. Nature Stays Silent
is long (which can be par the course for this genre) at 71 minutes. It is definitely a monument to take in, especially consider that there is a fair amount of repetition of howls and lovely trems that run throughout the record. Whether this record remains as mesmerizing as it is from the start is dependent on the patience of the listener, but to those with the time and attention it is rewarding. The journey is a beautiful one, grabbing you by the hand through verdant forests, babbling brooks and ice sheathed mountain tops-even if it takes its sweet time doing so. Through distant echoes, swelling guitar riffs and beautiful synth work, Cân Bardd has crafted a wonderful record that is more than sum of its parts. I implore you-listen to it.