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Chur - Four Faced Award winner

Four Faced
by Laura Glover at 14 December 2019, 5:10 AM

Pagan Folk Metal band, CHUR, released their full-length album “Four Faced” on October 4, 2019. The Ukranian born band whose album cover with a man in chain mail completely describes this bands imprint. One can imagine a bard of old happily playing to a courtyard of peasants. Self-described as “A band with many folk instruments, mostly clean vocals and lyrics, based on Slavic Paganism.” Slavic Paganism by definition is the religious beliefs, myths, and ritual practices of the Slavs before the formal Christianisation of their ruling elites. The lyrics in this album bring to mind knights in silver armor, and chain mail. Swords of steel, and maidens in tall towers awaiting rescue.

Four Faced" - “In a deep and shady forest, In forgotten lands, A moss covered stone idol, Silently stands. It is looking at the four sides, Of the word, It has not just one face, But four.” In perspective we have different faces for different situations in life. Could the author be referring to these? A cosmic place within us where we have what knowledge we need inside of us already. “Дике поле \[Wild Steppe]”- A song sung in the bands native tongue, Ukranian. Whose folk instruments play alongside some very metal guitar riffs and whose vocals remind me of a monastery, possibly. A truly eclectic mix, even for the world of metal. But it works well together. “Paradise" - “What a great day for the flock – The sheep have built the fence! Heads of wolves are on its posts. Hail to dogs our friends!” With lyrics like that I’m gonna need some mead here. Modern guitar notes married to other various folk instruments add a very artistic air.

Tyra \[Grief]' - A melancholy song lyrically, musically stoic. “Weep for us gloomy rain.” A song whose focus is on aspects of Paganism. Which is a religion that is vastly misunderstood to be a dark religion, when in actuality is anything but dark. “Dancer" - A song about war. The dance of death is over lying among fields of piled bodies, and the chief with his broad knife thrust into the dancer’s side. With the tune of what sounds like a lyre crescendo into some face melting guitar riffs. “River” - With a slightly more traditional intro, this songs wood flute is beautiful. Written about the mighty river and the waters of ancestral bloodlines. Bloodlines that fought in wars. “The mighty river is so strange – Only Gods know where, Its beginning is.”

Four Faced" took and interesting approach in its sound. From the wood instruments that bring to mind hobbits and mossy woods, to the vocals that were reminiscent of the Knights of the Round Table. CHUR still manages to hit hard with their guitar riffs, amidst the haunting quality of the folk instruments. If you are looking for something different to listen to, this is it.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Goddess
2. Four Faced
3. Дике поле \[Wild Steppe]
4. Paradise
5. Tyra \[Grief]
6. Dancer
7. Битва під Конотопом
\[Battle of Konotop]8. River
9. Freedom of Death
10. Outro- Steppe Heat
Yevhen Kucherov – Vocals, Guitars, Drums, Jaw Harp, Domras, Sampled Bagpipes, Hurdy-Gurdy, Dulcimer
Record Label: Independent


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