Vishapakahr – Vishapakahr

Vishapakahr is yet another folk black metal band; in this case, the folk is Armenian, which is admittedly quite a bit different from the usual Celtic/Norwegian/whatever folk influences the band decides to incorporate. Another thing that sets it apart: the folk flavoring is much more subtle and tastefull, and is better synthesized into the black metal whole than most. The Middle Eastern sound (look, I know it’s an Armenian sound, but most people just don’t know what Armenian sounds like, so Middle Eastern will suffice) permeates the entire release but never becomes overbearing or incorporated in an unnecessary fashion. The only real straightforward and obvious incorporation of those influences is in, predictably, the intro and outro, and even they seem more tolerable than most.

The meat of Vishapakahr’s music is (very) high speed, frantic black metal that breaks into slightly slower sections of midpaced, technical, folk-influenced dancing. Yes, dancing is the appropriate word; it has a rhythmic flow to it that’s especially elegant and physical without ever seeming silly. The riffing has a sort of ‘desert’ feel to it; probably a stereotypical attachment based on the folky melodies, but it’s there. It’s not cold music; in fact, it’s more lively than just about any black metal out there. I wouldn’t call it upbeat, but there is a sort of vigor and passion to it that’s the exact opposite of a lot of Norwegian artists. The thin, windy production is quite a nice touch; thinner than most, but still strangely pleasing to listen to. All the technical performances are a notch above when it comes to black metal, particularly in the drum department: lots of small cymbal flourishes are employed to folk up the music even more. The vocals, traded between a black metal rasp and a clean folk sound are quite effectively employed and enjoyable to listen to. Really, the aesthetic package is very solid throughout.

The folk influences, as previously stated, are very nicely incorporated and add a great deal to the music overall. While the Middle Eastern sound is not one unfamiliar to extreme metal these days, the Armenian sound is, and it is a definitely unique folk sound that doesn’t resemble much in metal today. It seems to be more natural than the usual Egyptian shoehorning that you see a lot; the combination is very organic and never seems stilted or forced. It’s probably that it isn’t incorporated in an overt way, using traditional instruments or anything; it’s merely that the tremolo riffs possess the folky melody, or some of the rhythms have it, or other ubiquitous elements employ it in a logical, non-haphazard manner.

One of the big risks whenever it comes to a band like this is them folking themselves over with an excess of elements at the expense of overall sound. Vishapakahr has thankfully overrated it with a restrained yet passionate and professional first release. I’ll be most certainly looking into future releases from this trio, as this opening record is a worthwhile one indeed.


~ by noktorn on October 28, 2007.

One Response to “Vishapakahr – Vishapakahr”

  1. can you upload some of its songs plz?? on rapidshare or megaupload

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