CD REVIEW Munruthel  

Band: Munruthel
Title: Epoch Of Aquarius
Label: Svarga Music
Distribution: Code7 / Plastic Head Distribution / Rock Inc. / Fono / Bertus
Release date: 10/08/2012
Review: CD (re-release)

After Thunderkraft’s Totentanz and Svyatogor’s Doctor Veritas (both of them reviewed by undersigned and posted in this site’s review-section, respectively on 06/07/12 and 16/09/12), Svarga Music release, as third album, an album by Ukrainian one-man-project Munruthel. In fact it isn’t a new album, for Epoch Of Aquarius (something like эποxa boдoлeя) was originally released on June 28th 2006.

Munruthel is the artist name of Vladislav ‘Redkin’ Olegovich, whom you might know from his permanent and / or session assistance with bands and projects like e.g. Nokturnal Mortum, Kolo, Vetche, Neverland, Thunderkraft, Amber Solstice and many, many more. But for a more detailed biography, I’d like to refer to the review on last year’s The Dark Saga, professionally (of course) written by colleague Tony and posted on March 11th this year.

I do consider the Ukrainian scene a wonderful one, with tens of great names acting out there. I never hided my passion for a band like Nokturnal Mortum - Vladislav used to be one of the founding members, by the way - and the same goes for this solo-project. The Dark Saga was a soundtrack Vladislav wrote for a video game, but as mentioned before, you better check out Tony’s review on this recording (posted 11 March 2012). And Epoch Of Aquarius is a re-release, originally offered to the world during early Summer 2006. It will be some kind of prequel to an album that will be released later this year, a newly written and recorded one, also to be released through Svarga, by the way.

Epoch Of Aquarius was recorded by Mister Munruthel himself with session assistance of some (former) colleagues from Nocturnal Mortum. For the better part, it goes on in the vein of the stuff he did release with this project during the nineties, yet somewhat more modern in performance and sound. The basics still dwell in between Pagan-oriented Black Metal and symphonic orchestrations. The biggest difference with the past is the addition of some vocals and riffs that are closely related to Epic / Power Metal at the one hand, and Folk Rock/ Popular Traditional Music at the other (including some ‘traditional’ instruments, like flute). A general Folk-approach has always been the case, yet never this specifically pronounced.

The variety in tempo and melodies is one of the strengths, of course. The keyboards still do play a mostly important role, giving the whole that bombastic and slightly mystic atmosphere, and the rhythm section is uncompromising, straight-forward and energetic. Yet again, the variation makes (almost) every composition an experience that avoids any form of dullness. It does not mean that every excerpt is beyond average; it means that the effect of surprise and attention remains to the end.

The album comes with the mostly interesting, psycho-spacy Burzum cover track “Tomhet”, by the way.

---/100

Ivan Tibos.