One of the more satisfying things of being a music reviewer is the discovery of unknown musical gems. Last year I was really pleased with Pin-up Went Down from France, who blew me away with their 2 Unlimited and 342 albums. Some weeks ago I discovered Silent Stream Of Godless Elegy, a highly talented doom/folk metal ensemble from the Czech Republic. Recently their Návaz album saw the light of day, so let’s dive into the musical wealth of these Czechs.
The combination of folk and various metal sub-genres is very popular nowadays, judged by the amount of success for bands like Eluveitie, Turisas, Týr and Ensiferum. I wasn’t too keen on the last couple of releases by the aforementioned bands. Silent Stream Of Godless Elegy has more in common with a band like Nugera Bunget from Romania. Both bands are more concerned with writing beautiful rich compositions in which the folk and metal elements truly come together as one, instead of keeping up appearances or appeasing young hipsters.
Majestic songs with rich arrangements are plentiful on Návaz. Take Mokoš, Zlatholav, Přísahám and Dva Stíny Mam for example. All these compositions are filled to the brim with soothing vocal (male and female) melodies, heavy guitar parts, solemn string sections and intricate drumming. Simply brilliant. Other great examples are Skryj Hlavu Do Dlaní and Pramen, Co Ví. I’m not too crazy about Sudice, which is a bit too sappy for my taste. Luckily it’s a rather short song and it only serves as an interlude between the two respective halves of the album.
Návaz has a clear yet powerful production. This benefits the acoustic instruments used on the album, but it also gives it a real heavy feel.
This album is indeed a very satisfactory introduction to the music of Silent Stream Of Godless Elegy. If you’re into folk metal with a doom metal edge or doom metal with a folk edge, this would be the album to go for. Recommended!
Written by Raymond Westland