There is a risk that Znelo lesom, the new album by the Slovakian pagan metal band Ramchat, will fly under the radar of lots of listeners, when it should instead come across it like a comet in flight. It certainly made that kind of astonishing impression on this writer, who didn’t know what to expect going into it, having failed to pay attention to any of the band’s previous releases. But now this album is one that won’t soon be forgotten.
The songcraft of Ramchat is, for want of better words, idiosyncratic and mercurial. At a high level, it could be described as a fascinating amalgam of folk-influenced blackened metal and devilish rock that’s capable of generating (among other things) orchestral levels of grandeur, barbaric levels of savagery, bewitching episodes of sinister sonic sorcery, and heart-breaking moments of melancholy. In each song (no too of which are quite alike) the band pack an ingenious array of sonic sensations and moods, and while the changes are often unexpected, there is still a natural flow and integration among them which makes the progressions cohesive rather than jarring.
It’s thus a real pleasure to help put Znelo lesom on your radar screen through our full album premiere today in advance of its imminent November 13 release by Slovak Metal Army.