Moon, Forest, Blinding Snow

Folter Records 2011

Moon, Forest, Blinding Snow represents the sophomore effort from these Czech pagan black metallers.  And the album falls right in line with what one might expect; folkish melodies and sweeping songwriting that create an epic atmosphere.  A pompous and very pronounced melody drips like sweet honey from your speakers as the album gets underway on Red Moon Rising.  Acoustic guitars add to the pagan influence of the songwriting while thick black metal riffs prepare for another barbarian raid upon your ears.  Darker moods penetrate the slicing riffs of aptly named Fire Worshipper.  The track quickly breaks into menacing grooves before surging upwards with a triumphant riff.  Total ancient sounding heathen-ish instrumental work fills out Veliji Dini through its use of acoustic guitar and pipes.  This theme continues over into Alatyri but with a deep infusion of epic melodies and dark black metal which brings Falkenbach to mind or a less commercial Arkona.  Later on O Orile I Zmiji the death metal influences assert themselves within the Windir-esque melodic synths and riffs.  Traditional metal guitarwork undulates and then ushers in a sweep melody on The Story (..of a Murderer).  Trilling fretwork and the occasional chugging riff add depth to the song, which remains controlled and somber until it finally explodes into blasting black metal riffs.  The title track is a brooding track of thick death until ancient sounding flute dances across the surface of the song and then collapses into frantic black metal bursts.  Staggered guitar melodies that would feel right at home on Dark Tranquillity's The Mind's Eye are sewn across the track's interior.  The album closes out with a really good cover of Running Wild's The Myth of the Eternal Return-Black Wings of Death.  High on melody and drama, Panychida satiate the hunger any pagan metal fiend feels for ancient landscapes and epic textures of unspoilt natural wonder.