- 2.Belül halott09:00
- 3.Az én keresztem08:26
- 4.Ott vagy a szélben10:14
- 5.Búcsúzom a némaságtól09:44
This is the latest album of Vrag from Hungary. If you are not familiar with this project, as I was not, you may remember Roland and one of the other projects that he is involved with, WitcheR and Frozen Wreath. Vrag is another face of the personality of Roland, expressing his not so different from the other projects feelings and thoughts but in a different way. However, in this one, he decides to be alone and do everything by himself. The album is called Harcom and it is his third full length album, it contains five long, Black Metal songs, with overall duration of about forty six minutes. The album was release by Filosofem Records, Roland’s own company, in the 18th of September of 2021, although all the songs had already been recorded during 2019 – 2020. So, by the first glance to the very beautiful cover, I got hooked by the album and wanted to listen to it as soon as possible and I can safely say that the album rewarded me for that.
Roland, in Vrag, wants to express his colder, more depressing and sometimes hateful feelings, so although he does not abandon the melodic element, the element that characterizes him as a musician in my opinion, he presents an uglier, colder, harsher and sometimes more violent result. As the artist himself states, his most obvious influences are of course the early Burzum and Nargaroth, but there are a lot of other elements to be discovered. Generally, Vrag’s music is a homage to the ’90ies, Scandinavian Black Metal with some touches of depressive Black Metal and a lot of cold – epic feeling, adding images of winter and nature. The riffing is a mixture of fast, harsh, violent Black Metal riffing, with slower, epic – atmospheric ones, all of them given under the melodic, characteristic style of Roland. The tracks are long, they last from nine to eleven minutes. Generally, their structure is good, as the artist is trying to give a very vivid image of his journey through the frozen landscape, which in some cases it is difficult, with violent outbursts, other times it is easier, bringing the listener closer to nature and some other times empty of feelings just keep moving. The feelings and images are drawn very accurately and the flow from one riff to the next one is very smooth with the use of bridges and interesting changes. However, there are some parts that I felt that the song was going longer than it should.
As I said earlier, Roland is responsible for everything in this project, from the lyrics and compositions, to performing all the instruments, doing the recording and the mixing. The guitars are the leading instruments as the entire project depend on them and how they perform and give life to the riffs. I think that they are doing that very well. The bass is not distinct and supporting the compositions with simple lines. I am not sure if the drums are real drums or programmed ones but their sound is very good and their performance is stable and although their lines are simple, they are quite interesting. The vocals are quite typical, harsh Black Metal vocals with a good expression both in the hateful, the misanthropic and the lifeless parts. The production is clean and warmer than what I would expect for a release like this one, but surely it is not bad. The mixture is balanced, highlighting the guitars and the vocals giving a nice result. The lyrics are written and sung in Hungarian and they are included in the booklet of the cd, along with their English translations, so that we, non Hungarian speakers, can understand their meaning. They are talking about nature, inner self and the struggles you face in life and how they leave a scar on you.
In conclusion, after listening to every project that Roland is involve with, I can say that Vrag is the one I liked most. I guess that’s because its style is closer to my taste of Black Metal, without of course forgetting that its compositions are quite interesting and his performance is flawless. Of course there are some elements that he can improve in his next release but I think he is in the right path. Those of you who like the aforementioned Black Metal style, you will appreciate them for sure.