Band: Cân Bardd
Title: Devoured By The Oak
Label: Northern Silence Productions
Release Date: 12 November 2021
Format Reviewed: High-quality digital recording
To preface this review, I’m just going to say it: Can Bardd delivered and not only brought intensely raw, beautiful emotion to lyric and track production, embodying nature and savagery, but also the intensity of black metal at the core. The raw, guttural expression sits within the epic, sprawling mastery of this whole album and slams you down and you helplessly get pulled into it, but let’s face it, you are happy to be there.
Can Bardd is atmospheric, truly done well, and black metal, blending pieces and tendrils of folk inspiration, classical inspiration and the simplicity of a tortured, yet powerful voice that rages on and on. Dylan Watson is the drummer for this album, and Malo Civelli, as vocals and all other instruments. On “Devoured By The Oak”, it should be mentioned, Can Bardd had guest musicians on key instruments and vocals (on some of the tracks), and those contributions only made the album that much more magical and richly satisfying. “Devoured By The Oak” is the third full length album, and the first two need to be checked out if you haven’t already. (Nature Stays Silent – 2018, and The Last Rain – 2019)
“Echoes of The Moss”, starts in a down pour of rain, and birds, echoing song in the distance. Long, sweeping passages, of atmosphere laid out in keyboards, and building to an epic full ness of sound.
“Un Couronne de Branch” (A Branch Crown), this is the beautiful lyrical fluting, to start and pagan inspired vocals, the guttural harmony pronounced and you can’t help but imagine Viking ship sceneries. The unrestrained flowing of vocal, that speaks to the darkly wooded forests, brutally harsh landscapes where it takes skill just to survive. Yet, the beauty of the nature comes through, in the keyboard treatment. Blasting beats and drums that are nonstop, this punctuates the beauty of the pagan inspiration and the harsh cold treatment of black metal in this track. Picking up some Lord of the Rings, sweeping epic soundscapes towards the end of this and it just adds another layer to an already damn good song.
“Devoured By the Oak, pt. 1”,
“Devoured By the Oak, pt. 2”, both of these are a story, involving large atmospherical sections, and amazing guttural vocals. Both tracks entrance you, followed with on-point guitar work and drums to build on.
“Crepuscule” (meaning twilight), the vocals are inspired and cold. A melancholic inspiration is heard, with flutes and keyboards together. It’s simply magical how this track comes together.
“Spleen By The Pond”, another example of how the atmosphere is fully displayed, classical influences heard, it literally sounds like an opera of nature, if there was a way to make that sound. All instrumental track.
“Autumn Shore”, jumps on with guttural scream, and the fluted sounds. Drums are being beat into the ground (sounds like that to me) with intensity and speed. As many of the tracks on this album, this one layers and pushes for more variations.
“Blomsterkransen”, (Flower Wreath), the guest vocal, Linnea Lindqvist, beautifully and simply expresses in clean tones. The melody catches you, and the production of the song was crafted to be lulling and lasting. The melody lingers.
What can I say more, except this album is one that will not leave you wanting. I say very clearly, that the pagan inspiration and the black metal, the classical touches, and excellent handling of all instruments will be something you must play again and again. Can Bardd bring it. I give 9.5/10 Metal Marie
9.5/10 Epic Storm
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