Abaddon magazine

Music magazine

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Review: Protokult – Transcending the Ruins

Label: Self released

Date: October 1st, 2020

I’ve always considered North America as a multicultural region of the world. A continent that is the biggest dream for the rest of the planet and secret for thousands of people who live there. Reading the book “American gods“ I figured out, America is only there by it’s name and flag but history of that place certainly isn’t as simple as we think. There is one part of it i will always associate with snow, lakes, fluent French and band Unexpected, and that is Canada. Protokult will be another good reason to love this part of North America. Why? You will see in a minute.

Listening to their latest album I didn’t know what to listen first because I couldn’t believe that this good folk metal will come from Canada. They mixed a lot of sounds, vocal technique and cultures in one CD and simply made one small America.  This will be one really good concert when the time comes!

Opening song has a Blind Guardian vibe because of all those different riffs in six minutes. That’s not unusual for folk metal but one calm atmosphere that opens up to thunder riffs, a really good choice for the first one. Those words in the break part are making me imagine myself standing somewhere and waiting for my war troops to “rise again“ (as the song says). “Feed your demons“, with the most beautiful female vocals singing in Russian, is something that took my attention. The rest of the song is inviting us to moshpit with those strong drum blasts and screams. “1516“ is one power / heavy song that I can freely put next to some Judas priest hit but there is the middle of the song with shredding solo more powerful even than the whole song. Good combination with keyboards though. My favorite so far. But there is one dedicated to their homeland, “Oy, Kanada“ with a video that explains an explosion of nations living there all together. I have to drink that beer, ladies and gentlemen, you said it’s better then ours. We can feel that Canada, full of mountains, lakes, ice and snow.

“Troubled lad“ is one pirate folk song with ievan polka instrumental. Everyone who is familiar with Korpiklaani will understand me. Listening to it I couldn’t stop dancing. Good job! Oh, next one leads us to Slavic roots. Of course, as a girl coming from Serbia, this is my favorite part of the album. Mystic atmosphere until you come to some lake and there she is, “Rusalka“, the most evil fairy with gorgeous black hair, green eyes and warm voice, as the singer’s. Be careful you guys, you will “die in her arms“. As we, Slavs, say: “Everything pretty hurts“. Before the “Valley of thorns“ I thought that only Mrs. Tarja can reach this high lyric tones but Ms. Ekaterina doesn’t stay behind. Symphonic vibe with folk elements made this song the best one from the whole album. Beautiful! My desire for more folk riffs left me to “Wenches“ and reminded me a lot of Korpiklaani again, but with your unique trademark. “Greet the dawn“ is a break song before the last one and it’s made for some coffee above the town in the dawn, somewhere in the steppes of Russia. The last one, “Dead new world“ combined everything these headbangers can do, everything I said before, in one song with progressive vibe in some of its parts. Goth folk symphonic song with a story is something every band needs.

Listening to this very good material helped me to walk through the beautiful landscapes of Canada, Russia, Poland and even my Serbia, to feel the stories of the ancient times and somewhere on that road drink some Canadian beer (we will see for that “better then yours“… Just joking). If others want to go on this road-trip, listen to this album first, but be careful, Rusalka on the cover picture is waiting for you.