heathen altar zine bialy vitez
This is the split release of the two polish bands - a well known in pagan metal scene Graveland and lesser known Biały Viteź (the guys have only one demo and other split on their account). The cover artwork is really good, so you are propably asking yourself "is their music really good too?". Well you can think no more, and simply satisfy your curiosity by reading this review.
 

 The three first tracks are recorded by Graveland, so I'll start with this band. Generally speaking, there is not much to say. One of those three tracks is "Biała Husaria" - a song previously known under an english name "White Winged Hussary". And well, it's very good, and sounds really fantastic. But I really don't know why Rob decided to rerecord this song. The two new hymns are a bit faster. Rob again entered into a more aggressive areas, with blast beats and more furious riffing. Thanks to a great, organic production they sound like they were supposed to sound - very epic, and at the same time very atmospheric and powerfull. Fans of Graveland should be pleased by this release, even if it's really nothing new.

The second part of this split belongs to folk metallers from Biały Viteź. They creativeness is much closer to what was invented by the eastern pagan metal bands. As in Graveland's case the sound is really powerfull, but at the same time a bit more dirty and underground. Guitar riffs are evidently inspired by the polish black metal hords from the '90s, while atmospheric parts of keyboards sounds a bit like Drudkh. But don't worry, the guys from BV are not a copycats, and their create something fresh. The metal parts together with usage of folk instruments and "mystical" keyboard sound really interesting, for 100% in slavic vain, which is a great advantage in immersion of celtic and nordic bands. By the way folk parts really remind me Jar -  it only shows that BV is really into polish pagan scene, and not just another bunch of jolly dumbasses.
The vocals on this album are sung in very characteristic way - some will like that, some will not, but in my case I count it as an advantege. To be honest, the only weak element of this material is the last track - it sounds like a too long outro. I know that there must be a place for atmospheric parts, but for me some sad accords and a guy singing in the same vain for almost 4 minutes is not an "atmosphere". I call it "boredom". Happily the rest of their music sounds fantastic, and I guess that "Kędy mój los" will be a concert killer - there is a place for aggressive mosh, and for the epic singing. Ideallly, hehe.
To sum up: for fans of pagan metal this split will be something like a pearl in the sea of crap. It's really worth to have this album - especially because of great part recorded by Biały Viteź.

Rate: Graveland: 7/10, Biały Viteź: 8+/10
Vladyka

Tracklist:
Graveland:
1. Zimno z za szarego horyzontu
2. Pancerna Pięść
3. Biała Husaria
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Biały Viteź:
4. Intro - ku chwale
5.  Na swój miecz
6. Gdzie umiera dzień
7. Kędy mój los
8. Kiedy skonam

 

By: Vlad Vladyka 

 

http://heathenaltar.blogspot.com/