Munruthel
Epoch of Aquarius (Reissue)

Easily one of the most over-looked albums of the last decade, Epoch of Aquarius will hopefully garner the sort of attention it lacked when it originally was presented to the world in 2006. For those who may not know, Munruthel is a band that fits somewhere inside the whole pagan/folk metal sub-genre but the music that the band (now only a one-man project of Vladislav “Munruthel” Redkin) creates is much more worldly and passionate than the majority of the typical bands of this ilk. Epoch of Aquarius is the band’s third full-length and the one that directly precedes 2011’s The Dark Saga.

Epoch of Aquarius begins with a rather run of the mill instrumental/eerie passage, but once the album properly kicks in with “The Raven Croak” (or “Raven-Croaking”, depending on which version you have) and immediately the aural sensations of some of Dimmu Borgir’s older, more ethereal passages come to mind. However, Munruthel is far from some cheap Dimmu knockoff because the rest of the album is anything but. Black metal-ish guitars are inter-woven among sweeping keyboards, effective drumming and varying vocal approaches, and considering how every song has enough of an altering personality of its own, the album never grows stale or repetitive.

There are a myriad of tempo changes in each of the eight proper songs and while some of the song structures are a mixture of complexities, blistering speed, and serene/acoustic/ambient passages, nothing ever seems forced or tacked on just to con the listener into believing the music is intelligent or diverse. Whenever the music shifts from overdrive into neutral or vice versa, it flows smoothly like a brook. Also worth noting is that each of the tracks oozes of atmosphere and emotion. You’ll be faced with a sense of dread, hopelessness, loss and triumph and/or exhilaration all rolled into one on most, if not all of the tracks on Epoch of Aquarius.

The Ukraine isn’t typically known as a genuine hotbed of metal, but there are plenty of solid acts that come from the land of the Brothers Klitschko and Fedor Emelianenko. The Russian country is starting to really take shape regarding metal and in time there’s no reason to believe that Ukraine can’t be considered an entire “scene” unto itself. Munruthel ranks right near the top with Drudkh as the finest acts in Ukraine and Epoch of Aquarius is one of the finest examples of music done properly, pagan/folk or otherwise.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Mike Sloan
August 22nd, 2012

Comments

  1. Commented by: Adolf Oliver Fingers

    Drudkh? Hipster shit…Well, that only makes sense when the review’s writer insists on mentioning the Brothers Klitschko and Fedor Emelianenko in his review. Now Nokturnal Mortum is definitely among Ukraine’s finest.


  2. Commented by: gabaghoul

    Nokturnal Mortum is great but since when is Drudkh “hipster-shit”? Forgotten Legends and Autumn Aurora were around long before that term came into play.

    you sound like more of a hipster for trying to act so fucking cool.


  3. Commented by: stiffy

    and the Ukraine produces plenty of awesome bands


  4. Commented by: Nick Taxidermy

    also, nothing like aggrandizing a band with nazi sympathies like Nokturnal Mortum. yeah, they sound great, but nazis can eat shit and die.


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