Polish blackened folk metal band Jarun released their new record ‘Pod niebem utkanym z popiołu’ this summer, over fifty minutes of black metal with all kinds of different elements to it, some prog, some folk. It’s a challenging but ultimately rewarding listen.
Opener ‘Przedświt’ comes to life after a wailing guitar note into a percussive acoustic round, setting the scene for what is to come. A dense metal assault begins, airing deep influences from Opeth in its heaviness. That’s the band I keep coming back to with Jarun; they feel like Opeth if they’d followed a black metal path rather than pure death prog. It’s not a derogatory comparison either; the level of musicianship within ‘Pod niebem utkanym z popiołu’ is pretty high. The blackened fury of ‘Kamienie’ is a whirling dervish of aural hatred and murky atmosphere, with some progressive arrangements that keep things moving. But nothing here is straightforward.
‘Zawołaj mnie a przyjdę’ has this wonderful ‘Blackwater Park’ gallop to it that descends into black metal madness in parts, but always retains that adventurous spirit even into its bouts of blackened fury. The title track oozes with a progressive class, melding clean guitar melodies with atmospheric black metal with great skill. The calm of ‘Csiy’ makes the electrifying ‘Noc niedokończona’ all the sweeter; spiralling blackened prog that thrills you to your core.
When you hear of an album being blackened folk metal’, you get certain preconceptions about the sound and the quality. Prepare to have those blown away by the sheer beauty of Jarun’s new record. Glacial fury meets acoustic enchantment and progressive meanderings, and Jarun better not get forgotten about this year. This album deserves the hype, because simply put it is stunning