Stozhar – Dukhom svobody, razryvaia okovy (Album Review)

From the heart of Yaroslavl Oblast in Russia, Pagan patriots Stozhar return with their fifth full-length album.

Духом свободы​, ​разрывая оковы (By the Spirit of Freedom, Breaking the Shackles) is an album that is unashamedly eastern European. Sung in native Russian, it is full of homeland Pride and ancient pagan rituals. Evgenia Vitlugina’s vocals are beautiful and offset by her male counterpart Yarosvet.  The haunting melodies on Песнь о былом (Kholod Osenneho Uta) … are the epitome of traditional symphonic metal crunch that goes back and forth between the ferocious and the subtle.

Sung in Native tongues it does give that toughened military-type inflection that only the Russian language provides. The music also is proud to share some musical heritage and combine it with traditional gothic symphonic styled metal. Musically it may not carry too many surprises but it is a fantastic representation of the genre if at times a little dated.

На пороге новых свершений and Павший воин are highlights delivered with passion and musical elegance, their commitment never in doubt, delivered with honesty and emotion. For those who love the genre especially around the mid-2000s then this is definitely worth exploring

Three pagan wielding Roos

Stozhar: Bandcamp

Release Year: 2021
Label: Stygian Crypt Productions
Category: Album
Country: Russia

Reviewed by Sparky