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Tverd – Follow The Sun’s Way Award winner

Follow The Sun’s Way
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 17 July 2011, 9:31 PM

This is a call back to medieval times, back to where the forefathers fought each other with a vicious manner that held the world captive to their battle lust. However, not all the stories were about eposes and legends that mainly centred Western Europe. The newly elevating TVERD of the Russian Republic took the Eastern front of that ancient era and smothered it on top of the Metal scene with their own stories of conquests and the never ending frost that is the heart of the exhilarating Russian Winter.

Almost half a decade ago TVERD’s lead guitarist / composer, Vetrodar, then the lead guitarist of yet another Folk Metal band, PAGAN REIGN, decided, with help, to form a fresh Folk Metal group that is based on older and new ideas. In a way, TVERD is an amazing hybrid between your ordinary Folk Metal act and Heavy / Power Metal with a more modern insight. The band’s debut album, “Follow The Sun’s Way”, made and played in Russian, in my view, is one of the greatest examples of how Folk Metal should be played and produced.

Although my Russian is more than just rusty, as it is almost non-existent, I felt like I didn’t need to truly understand the meaning behind the lyrics. Everything on the album, whether vocals, Folk instruments and the rest of pieces that formed the band, met my expectations and fulfilled the roles with precision. Along with the production, every aspect of this release was synchronized in a manner that the listening process was flowing as a gashing river. Furthermore, the production killed me. Even though I am a true fan of rather more old school productions, I have to admit that I got addicted to TVERD’s sound. Besides the material, TVERD’s sound quality reminded me of other Folk Metal acts as DALRIADA and FALCONER, two bands that also were massively produced.

I would say that “Follow The Sun’s Way” is a point of attraction to anyone who admires rhythm guitar passages. As an also a sucker for great simple riffs, TVERD bought me right from the start. Nevertheless that most of their riffages were plain and didn’t seem to demand much effort, those weren’t actually the centre stage yet as on most of the Folk acts, as a tool to be a landing ground for the chanting and narration. Here and there, Vetrodar, along with his companion, Ratibor, issued a series of lead guitar licks including high flying solos bounded by steel.

“When the Steel is Being Broken…”alongside the catchy “Wide Maslenitsa” showed some hefty riffages that even displayed a musical Metal sense toward Thrash and Death Metal, especially when the former is concerned, yet held quite catchy choruses and wonderful singing by the band’s duo expert vocalists. “A Falcon is Over Rus”and “The Bogatyr’s Gates” sunk into a relatively more emotional state of the band. Aside from continuously being storytelling ventures, those also put out their heavier moments that will send deadly, yet pleasurable, electrical shrapnel to your mind.

Throughout the album TVERD presented a sort of a Russian theatre. From act to act, along their long eposes, the music has been taking various of shapes yet the shape shifting between strong verses to the more softer ones, mainly acoustic ones, didn’t intrude the flow of the music. I would suggest TVERD to be one of the better Folk Metal acts and lest you forget that the Eastern version of medieval ages itsr own stories to tell. 

4 Star Rating

1.Wolf & Gyrfalcon
2. The Spring
3. Wide Maslenitsa
4.The Motherland's Heart
5. Under
6.When the Steel is Being Broken…
7.A Falcon is Over Rus
8.To the Foreign Land…
9. The Bogatyr’s Gates
10. Russian Land’s Sorrow
Alexander Ivanov– Operatic Vocals / Narration
Svetlana Lebedeva– Folk / Operatic Vocals
Vetrodar– Backing Vocals / Guitars / Folk Instruments
Ratibor– Guitar
Sigurd– Bass
Demosthen- Drums
Record Label: Wicked Music


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