Title: Sylvan Coven
Label: Drevo Music
Release date: 1 October 2021
Format reviewed: High-quality Digital Recording
When I heard that Gloosh was going to release a new album, I was really excited. I know their previous works and I love them, and now that I can be listening to the new one again and again I must say that it has exceeded my expectations. When I like something I can go nuts with it, I know, but oh this is simply too good…
If you are not familiar with Gloosh, let me tell you that this is a one-man project hailing from Siberia, Russia, and the man behind it is George Gabrielyan. The word “gloosh” can be translated into English as “wilderness/middle of nowhere”. This, and the fact that Gabrielyan is from Krasnoyarks, a city surrounded by forested mountains and crossed by the Yenisei river, one of the longest and more abundant rivers in the world, can give you an idea of what his music is about. ‘Cause you can find all these natural elements in Gloosh, in their lyrics (talking about clouds, winds, seasons, storms, forests…) and also in their music. At least, that’s what it seems to me when I listen to any of its songs.
Gloosh plays Black Metal with a high dose of cold atmosphere, if you pay attention to this music and listen with your eyes closed you can feel transported to the snowy Siberian forests, or to the steep cliffs surrounding a deep blue lake, or even high to the clouds and being caught in the middle of a storm… For me, it’s impressive how this music can have this effect, Black Metal can be harsh but it also can speak about nature and it can fill my heart with cold tunes but I can feel comfort with them. Hard to explain with words but if you can feel it, you’ll know what I’m saying.
“Sylvan Coven” starts with “Swampsong”, the shortest track in the album (about 5 minutes long) and also the most intense one. Drums at full speed, hypnotic guitar riffs accompanied by really good bass lines, and harsh vocals as it is expected. Great way to start! The other songs are between 7’30” and almost 10’, and they have more variations all along the tracks. That’s a thing that I’ve noticed regarding Gloosh‘s previous works (the LP “Timewheel” and the EP “The River”, both released during 2020): in this new album, song structures are more diverse, they alternate fast sections with some mid-tempo passages. Like in “Woodland Waltz”, when the song is about halfway through there’s a change in the tempo, everything slows down and guitars draw some kind of airy melodies till its end. The songs also incorporate new elements, like some choruses that add an extra folk nuance to the whole. Especially the female chants at the end of “Hexenring”, which even makes me wonder if they belong to some forest dweller creatures… Simply amazing.
George Gabrielyan plays guitar, bass, keys and does the vocals. He also wrote all the music and lyrics. Drums are performed by Vladimir Udarnov. And the amazing cover art is done by the Russian illustrator Taya Rostovtseva, as she did in the two previous releases by Gloosh.
For me, the “magic” in this album resides in the fact that it sounds truly organic. There’s a soul behind the music, the soul of George Gabrielyan telling us stories about nature. It’s something that allures me in every listen. I love the previous LP and EP by Gloosh, and I’d dare to say that I even love this new album the most. Sometimes the music flows smoothly like a calm river and you feel it almost aerial, other times you are overwhelmed by hurried drums and fascinating tremolo riffs, like at the beginning of “The Mist of Sleep”. Magical and natural; that’s it. This is a 9/10 for me. Sílvia
9/10 Epic Storm
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