Metal To Infinity

ladislav ‘Munruthel’ Redkin seems to be a very well-known Ukrainian metal musician who participated in more than 30 albums with various bands like Nokturnal Mortum, Astrofaes, Lucifugum and Thunderkraft, just to name a few. Around 2006, the album ‘Epoch Of Aquarius’ was released by Russian Oskorei Music, but shortly after, the label called it a day, and ‘Epoch Of Aquarius’ didn’t get the necessary and promised attention, event he expected international impact was rather low standard. Around 2010, Gardarika Musikk, decided to re-release all three Munruthel albums in different formats. ‘Epoch of Aquarius’ is the second re-release, after ‘Oriana Tales’, and before ‘Yav, Nav and Prav’, which is scheduled to be re-released at the end of this year. At this moment of writing, Vladislav is finishing up the work on the fifth full-length album of Munruthel, which will be released as ‘VEROlomstvo’ (translated as ‘CREEDamage’). 

The accompanied info sheet is elated about these unbelievable folkloristic colors, great technical solos and live folk instruments. It all makes glory and pride of the Ukrainian pagan metal scene! This re-edition comes as limited digi-pack with completely new artwork and includes as bonus track a cover of Burzum.  

After such a lyrical comment, I was really curious how this would turn out. Munruthel was totally unknown for me, and as I am always into something new, it could become a pleasant encounter with this Ukrainian mastermind. The first track on this 8 track re-release is a prologue of almost 4 minutes with a very annoying musical landscape. It’s like listening to a fight scene with swords and daggers, situated in a Medieval movie like e.g. First Knight. Only sound, no vision… The real first track is called ‘The Raven Croak’ and while the expectations were situated in a Folk Pagan Metal atmosphere, it’s like all devils and demons from the darkest side of earth are unleashed. Holy shit, this is black metal with an evil twist, and believe it or not, but Marduk and Enthroned popped up in my head! The music and songs of Munruthel is dividable in different sectors. Some are really heavy and evil, others are really atmospheric and cinematic from times to times. It’s a mix of traditional Ukrainian melodies with haunted tunes, and at moments, it’s a really weird combination.  

I guess that the musical level of Ukraine isn’t comparable with West European skills, nor Metal from the USA. It’s a mix of different worlds, although it is limited on just a global scale. Anyhow, I don’t want to write bad critics about this band or release, but I guess that I don’t get the point so well. Munruthel knows how to play their instruments, but needs a more defined path to walk. Now it’s a mix of all blends, and there is not one basic idea well defined. Not suitable for people that demand high standard quality in composing and arrangements, instead of a jumble of sounds…  

My rating: 63 / 100 (Review by Patrick De Sloover)