Russian classic-rock troika cast a glance at metal origins to create a space of their own – and grow tall.
If you’ve ever wondered what would the polished results of infamous SABS-and-ZEP studio summit sound like, here’s a possible answer – given by this group from Perm whose music is firmly rooted in the early ’70s, even though the trio’s aural weight is removed from primal heaviness. While the mandatory riffs are there, and dark lyrics – the band’s weakest spot, grammar-wise – too, they’re wrapped in orchestral sweep and exquisite folk motifs, the powerful, if delicate, wave of “Scarecrow Overture” setting a path where retro metal meets a plethora of stylistic elements to make the ensemble’s first trip not only cinematic but also arresting. As surprises lurk around every bend, thrills and chills are guaranteed to those willing to look in.
The record’s initial grandeur will be blown away once “The Journey” has thrown a blues harp unto an infectious hard rock figure and let cymbals abet Artemis’ spicy voice yet, when his wails venture towards sweet vertigo, instrumental assault takes over and ups the ante, and the further the performers roll from their blueprint, the more riveting these tracks feel. That’s why the strings-drenched “Madman” flows so majestically, whereas the flute-flaunting and sensual groove in “When The Powers Of Evil Are Exalted” expand the piece’s wordless panorama before Percy-isms shrivel the number somewhat. Still, the boisterous “Worm Of Anger” is marching with much panache, and “Autumn Wood” is embracing pastoral acoustics with enviable warmth that might point to routes alternative, albeit logically tangential, to ones trodden here.
Should the trio plow their own furrow, SCARECROW may kick GRETA VAN FLEET’s asses and succeed at seeking attention of their idols.