release for the brand-new Russian label and 'Big Bang' CD for this folk/heavy
rock band (not to be confused with the homonymous German doomsters),
which took 2 years for the recording, actually quite a long while, but
the results reward their efforts for the most part.
After the atmospherical intro "Stinn",
containing a recited esoteric ritual, we have the fast and classic metal
"Odolen-Trava", rife with epic vocals, pulsing bass
lines and raw guitars that suddenly make way for a flute solo and then
a keyboards one; the vocals become softer and get overdubbed, the keyboards
gently walk their paths before a guitar solo and another flute one;
the end is in a vocal crescendo. An excellent and gritty song.
"Javir" contains guest female vocalist
Marina Sokolova's intervention together with the male ones; this song
is the core of Tumulus' folk soul as she sings in a very Eastern style
(probably Siberian) and there're also some balalaika notes, a flute
reminding me of the Andes' that solos and even 2 at the end for an extremely
particular song that's gonna divide the public; either you'll love it
or hate it.
A smooth bass and an acoustic guitar open "Morok Usriev",
basically a mid-tempo with reckless evolutions and vocals once again
quite pining and refined as for the overdubbing.
Raise your fist like a proud hero for "Krada" has arrived!
This composition is close to Holy Dragons and the early Iron Maiden,
with Jarovslavl's axeplayer Igreny matching his acrobacies with a rocky
An old track excerpted from the demo "Va Luzen" is
"The Thread" in which keyboardist Ju Vigdis takes the
lead vocals over on which Andreay Zolotarev's hallucinatory samples
are added. His singing is very good too and I did appreciate the effects
he chose to manipulate his voice in so threatening a way. There're a
great deal of dark passages and only for a few seconds does a glimmer
appear. Definitely the most negative and gloomy side of the 5-piece.
All of a sudden the atmosphere changes with the cheerful and lively
tunes of "Tam, gdie sjili sviristieli", later attacking
the listener rapidly and throbbing; some electro-techno keyboards lines
follow later and then the never tired flautist and singer Kuchma (a
relative of the corrupted Ukrainian politician?) comes in again, alternating
his instrument with energic vocals; the drum work is performed well
and effectively as in the rest of the CD, but the percussion sounds
aren't natural at all and unfortunately sound like the ones of a drum
machine. This is a typical fault of many Russian recording studios and
it's a shame they spent so much time in an obsolete studio. However,
the song is concluded by an Oriental melodic break, wonderful danceable
progressive keyboards lines and a couple of guitar solos before an irresistible
final assault. I'm convinced this is their best song.
"Va Luziech" is a metal fairy tale, delicate and evocative,
like a journey through an enchanted wood in Neverland, while "Resnoti
Sonth" shows Marina Sokolova's vocals one more time duetting
with Kuchma's high ones fading away at the end; one of the heavier songs
luckily devoid of Classic metal stereotypes.
The epicvocals and the genial arrangements make this opus unique, as
well-shown in the title track, closed by a marvellous ride and whose
lyrics are based on the poem "Frost the Red Nose" by
The closure is entrusted with the hard psychedelic folk "Obieriet",
taken from the '99 demo "Krada"; the recording of this
last pearl of Cossack metal is professional too and just a bit lower.
I dig the logo and the artwork very much, while I can't tell you anything
about the lyrics, almost all in Russian. Anyway, if you don't pay too
much attention on the cold tom-tom sounds and you're looking for a folk
different from the main Viking current, Tumulus might be the band for
you. But be prepared to listen to them more times and your patience
will be repaid, as every time you'll find out new particulars hidden
in the remote corners of their compositions.
MARKUS GANZHERRLICH - 12/12/04