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Can Bardd - The Last Rain Award winner

Can Bardd
The Last Rain
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 30 December 2018, 7:26 AM

Switzerland’s CAN BARDD is essentially a one-man project with a session drummer, Mr. Dylan Watson. It’s Atmospheric Folk/Black Metal, dealing with themes of nature and fantasy. This is Malo’s second release since 2018, so it sounds like he is a fairly prolific songwriter. I’ve enjoyed almost everything I have heard from Northern Silence Productions, so I am eager to dive in here. Five lengthy tracks await us.

“Between Hope and Reality” is a near fifteen-minute opening behemoth. Clean guitar notes ring out slowly at first. Harmonized clean vocals then come in, speaking in solemn tones. Then, the long scream and a familiar Black Metal tones. It’s very sad in scope. The atmospheric moments are actually quite beautiful, sandwiched in between aggressive passages of rage and hate. “Celestial Horizon” is shorter in length, opening with solemn strings and keys, like something out of the Game of Thrones HBO show. There is a regal quality to the sound, like you are witnessing the coronation of a King. The vocals however speak of despondence in their delivery. The folky elements here are out in the forefront, alongside some demonic harsh vocals.

“Fog of War” is a much shorter five-minute instrumental, with whispered folk instruments like piano and keys, that slowly build a depressing sound through the end, especially when the cello notes come into play. “Clouds and Feuds” is an eleven-minute song, opening with sweet but solemn guitar notes. The vocal here are shared…harsh with clean at the same time. It creates a layered effect and adds texture to the song. Then, the sound drops so you can take it all in…pretty little melodies with thick bass notes. The melodies shine bright against the raging vocals…a juxtaposition that really tugs at you. “The Last Rain” closes the album, with opening rage, followed by slow, lumbering darkness. There are eerie keyboards and regal overtones. It’s like being there when the final rains come to wash everything away, including everything you hold dear to you.

Overall, this is an excellent album. It makes full use of all of the Atmospheric elements of the genre along with the traditional ones. It’s deep, dark, and full of fury, but also so delicate and pretty.  Malo does a nice job of balancing these different elements, in a full and rich platter for the listener. The Folky elements also come into play for variety, in perfect doses. Never too much, but just enough to register on your palate. This album really has it all!

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Between Hope and Reality
2. Celestial Horizon
3. Fog of War
4. Clouds and Feuds
5. The Last Rain
Malo Civelli - Composition, Guitars, Vocals, Keyboards and Bass
Dylan Watson - Session Drummer
Record Label: Northern Silence Productions


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