Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Review: Juodvarnis - Mirusio Žmogaus Kelionė

Juodvarnis is a Lithuanian metal band emerged in 2011. The band released their full-length debut in 2014 titled “Šauksmai Iš Praeities.” This year, Juodvarnis return to power with the somber grandeur that has served them so well on the debut album, but expanded with far bigger wall of sound in almost every direction. Most bands tend to attract some kind of criticism for returning to the same sound from album to album without exploring it further or evolving it to any meaningful degree, but few bands have ever crafted a style as unfathomably deep and rich in texture. With time, “Mirusio Žmogaus Kelionė” soars beyond the reach of such petty and feeble barbs. 

“Mirusio Žmogaus Kelionė” carries on Juodvarnis’ roundabout way of accruing a Pagan Folk Metal aura — not drawing explicitly from their native musical traditions, but nonetheless steeped in antediluvian earthiness that ties them inextricably to the folk aesthetic. These guys stand like a weatherbeaten mountain: wind-whipped raw and trodden by countless eons' worth of pilgrims, serving as a focal point for the energy that connects man to nature. Paulius Simanavičius’ haggard, prophetic voice roars across the stormy tempest of rainswept riffs and howls with bleak emotion.

It would be putridly crass of me to describe such a dramatic, multifaceted work of art as "kickass," but “Mirusio Žmogaus Kelionė” totally kicks ass. I have found it both more readily accessible and more powerful than its predecessor, but pitting albums against each other seems like splitting hairs to the most pointless degree. This latest masterpiece finds the Juodvarnis firmly-ensconced in their home turf, and after the album ends the Earth feels about a thousand years older.

Listen to "Mirusio Žmogaus Kelionė" on Bandcamp.

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