For the most part musically, Slovakians PRAROD deliver a solid Thrash framework with edgings of Death Metal Ė it combining to make a well played and produced EP. No question these guys have chops and display them throughout this short, punchy sortie. Why then such a low score? Itís down to literally one thing: a fucking ear grating, near ubiquitous flute.
Iím just not a fan of overt Folk tendencies mixed in to my Metal; when itís done with subtlety and nuance such as with the likes of ENSLAVED Iím just fine with it. As I said, the rest of the music on ďOzvena VekovĒ is a really enjoyable listen, so perhaps itís a tad unfair that I give an obviously popular genre such a low review, but I can only judge the release as a whole. The penultimate track is a perfect example Ė a nice mix of mid-paced and galloping riffs, with a pause then a cracking crunchy chord mix. But as soon as the DM vocals enter so does the vexing woodwind meandering. The pipes are so prominent itís as if a Metal recording was left in the studio and good old ZAMFIR came in with his pan pipes and mixed in his own take on the songs. Opening with a Folk intro song is okay but once the eponymous track expands the flute just becomes overbearing. Thereís an odd moment on the track also as after the initial ripping crescendo riff the guitars change dramatically in tone and the new riff sound almost exactly like ďDeliveranceĒ by QUEENSRYCHE Ė itís quite jarring.
At just over 16 minutes it is again slightly tough to fully get a grip on what a band like a PRAROD would be completely fleshed out, but the use of a flute or other pipes are so strong in the tracks that I doubt a longer recording would change that. Such a band is who they are and far be it from me to want them to change, but with what is presented it just isnít my bag. For those who dig the whole Folk Metal scene I think this would be an impressive debut.
(Online February 18, 2012)