Monday, November 19, 2012

Leshak - Пустосвят

Leshak (Лешак in Russian) are a Moscow-based folk metal band. This year they released their second full-length album, entitled Пустосвят, through Sound Age Productions (which is a good label for a wide range of eastern European metal).

Leshak play that brand of upbeat, energetic folk that just makes you want to get up an dance on an oaken table in a warm, smoky tavern while the wind howls and the snow piles up outside. Supposedly their lyrics are rooted in the local culture and myths, but I can't understand a word of it. That's okay, though, because it's fun to listen to. This is unapologetically hammy folk metal at its best. Accordion and flute prance through the middle of bouncy guitar riffs with death metal vocals barking in accompaniment. The drumming does its job of herding the music along at a brisk gait, giving way for periodic passages of pure folk where the accordion and flute totally take over and the vocals shift to the guttural slurring of gruff spoken segments.

The criticisms for this record are basically the same ones that could be leveled at any comparable folk metal output: it's cheesy, it's been done by many others already, and it doesn't bring anything deep or serious to the table. If you are inclined to take your metal very seriously, this may not be the record for you. The Russian lyrics and traditional songs do add a bit of flavor that falls outside the norm, since most material in this vein derives from Scandinavia, and the vocals are harsher than those of many folk metal bands. Otherwise, it's pretty similar to the other purely fun-and-games folk metal on the market.

Grade: B+
Instead of progressive musicianship or introspective philosophy, it sends you a buxom tavern wench with a flagon of mead and a plate of dripping giblets. If that's what you're looking for, have a seat an enjoy.

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