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Saturday, June 25, 2022

Review: Ramchat – Znelo Lesom

Label: Slovak Metal Army

Date: November 13th, 2020

Walking through the woods in my very cold town, on the doorstep to snow and Morana’s domain, I was searching for something very dark, deep and strong to prepare me for the coldest nights and endless white landscapes. Since Arkona’s “Khram”, in thematic and musical meaning I haven’t found anything with similar energy and mysticism till this Ramchat’s latest album. Listening to their earlier opus as a fan, I can freely say this is their best work.

It is familiar that folk/pagan metal is known for its epic poetry and their devotion to nature and real paganism but Ramchat has that privilege to make a good combination between this and music, which leaves a perfectly good trademark on us who love those black/pagan metal instrumentals with a little touch of atmospheric vibes.

As a person who is comparing everything to nature because we are all a part of it, I can say this is one winter album. Cold Sun is lying in the highest branches of the trees, on the ground a silver snow has already found its own place and waiting for our slow steps, nature is so greenless. Here and there you can hear some dogs or even a wolf in the highest mountains. In my background “Neodpúšť’am” is playing. I can feel it, in its full charm. Night is already there, my feet can’t feel the cold anymore, and I am going home and, as a circle that never ends, from my earphones is playing “Matka Zem”There are many thing that are very unique from “Znelo lesom”. The first moments have an aggressive riff from the opening of “V čase popadaje”, which is ensuring us that drama is already present. We have no time to wait for a long intro, straight to the point they are causing the storm of drum blasts in my ears. With a very symbolic start, a war-like atmosphere is ruling here definitely. This is running through the entire album but in its own way, not at all monotonously.

The second thing that caught my ear were the monologues in the middle of songs, which are giving a specific contribution to the album. Without them, nothing would be the same. Maybe the visions of our ancestors, the Slavs, aren’t the same in everyone’s eyes, but their spirit that we carry and the memory of them through centuries is present in every second of these songs. Like ancient priests were talking with Gods and nature in their own way, is what Ramchat is doing now through lyrics and riffs. The song “Lož a žlč” is talking a lot about this. Disrespect of our ancestors, customs and taking freely something that is not ours. Younger generations are even forgetting their own language, which is why I am very delighted Ramchat is singing in their mother tongue. A majestic opening with the mentioned monologue is leading us through the song “Bogyna”, when a beautiful voice of Miss Irina Zybina from band Grai pleasantly surprised me. She decorated and rounded up the entire album in a masterpiece. “Matka zem”, just like Disturbed’s “Another way to die”, is sending a message to us and our irrational use of our Mother Earth. They realised people’s mistakes, selfishness and disconnection to nature. Those are global problems and we all together need to face them.

In these ten songs can hear a lot about the problems of young generations. As metalheads and people who are pretty different than other subcultures, that’s our assignment. When you look to the sky at any time, every man once in his life wanted to be free, to fly and never fall. Icarus tried but failed. Birds are there to remind us what it’s like to see a town or a forest under your feet and be free forever. “Jastrab” as any other bird will never let himself be locked, people from their jealousy are still trying to cut its wings, its power and freedom. Never!

“Môžu nàm vziat naša telà
Krivo usvedčit,v bôli utrápit.
Privodit biedu,bolest’,chubodu.
No nemôžu nám zobranit našu slobodu”.

EP “Jastab” has one beautiful cover picture, it’s so ancient and Slavic that it reminds me of folklore stories about forest creatures.

When we look at the album completely, maybe it’s not one single story or has an intro and outro that are the same but every song is a story for itself and that’s more than enough. Musically, you can hear that these gentlemen are in this business for a long time and I wish them many more years of storming.

Now, to save the most beautiful for the end. The cover picture of “Znelo lesom” with a perunika and a foggy forest is completing the mysticism of the album creating a mosaic of nature around it. This is a one very beautiful gift for a snowy winter. I hope to be able to hear you in a live concert soon.