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Label: Self released

Date: May 10th, 2023

In latest time, especially from 2021 to 2023 in Serbia, metal artists have so much inspiration to create  music that every time I hear some new album is published I can’t stop listening to it. Of course, I am a bit specific so I don’t like everything that our musician serve us, especially when it comes to metalcore and punk. But if we are talking about black / pagan / death I am more than delighted every time I hear some new album is on its way. I don’t know if it is about new technologies and easy access to studio and equipment or whatever but many new and older bands gave us marvellous albums in these two years. Every single one of them is dark, deep and inspired by some dark forces. Three that I still listen and admire are “Jav – Prav – Nav” from Šakal, “Kosturnice” from The Stone and “Suton” from Pustoš. Others that come to your mind from similar genres count too, but those three were something outstanding.

Now after almost two years of his last full length, one-man band called Strahor brought again  the sacrifice to the Gods with his new album “Gde vukovi zavijaju” (“Where Wolves are Howling”) and trust me, I am very inspired to write this review. This album is his third full length so far but not the only material he published in two years. EP “Zverovanje” that we listened with the same hype has, let’s say, different soul from “Gde Vukovi Zavijaju”. It’s almost incomparable but not less good.

“Gde Vukovi Zavijaju” has seven songs, each with its own atmosphere and each with different energy but with new mark of Strahor. If I look back at his last album, about which you had the chance to read in Abaddon Magazine, “Wolfborn: In the Land of the Fallen”, some things have changed. Pure black metal style with less solos and not so dynamic songs is now replaced with much more melodic and progressive sound.

“Gde vukovi zavijaju” is the first song that instantly opens for us the doors of dark Slavic forests where those wolves are waiting for us. The guy went straight to the point and hit us with blasting black metal sound. Next to that, what I like about this song and album in general are those folk breaks that remind me of some medieval music that goes in the background when brave knights are going through the town.

As we know that his inspiration and subject is Slavic mythology, that can’t be mentioned without medieval times I am not surprised with this. After this time machine to Middle Ages I came back to the present with “For Those Who Follow the Heart”, where this talented young man inspired by Children Of Bodom, spiced things up. My opinion as a fan and a journalist is that next to black / pagan metal, Strahor should seriously think about some melodic metal albums in the future. Maybe under different name but surely do that.

As you can see so far this is not a regular black metal album and that is what divided his previous work from this. “Izvor krvi”, the most melodic song really convinced me in Strahor’s musical abilities. The atmosphere in all songs is part of some specific darkness. Not scary, not coloured black, but it’s a kind of atmosphere that woke up inside of me last time I listened to Arkona’s album “Khram”. It’s some feeling that connects us with ancient times and our ancestors. That’s my closest explanation.

Special part of this review I must dedicate to lyrics. First of all, four out of seven songs are in Serbian language and because of that gesture Strahor has my biggest respect. Next to The Stone, Kolac and Silent Kingdom I think Strahor can freely take one of the places on the throne for the best lyrics. “Kletva” song, that is closing the entire album, is as the song says cursed with good lyrics and the best of all four. With the darkest atmosphere and most different melody of all previous “Kletva” is the best song of the album. I am not sure why it took the last place on it but the other side of the coin is the most beautiful closure of an album ever. Now Strahor cursed us with his wolf’s curse and magic will be in power for a long time as I can see.

Maybe it’s cliché or the most used sentence in all reviews ever but Strahor is one of the most talented young gentlemen of metal scene in Serbia and bright future awaits him. He is not from Belgrade and that is the proof you don’t have to be from the capital city to do the good job. All hail to us from small towns. Anyway, better listen to metal otherwise you can wake the anger of white old wolf Strahor and you won’t like that.

 

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