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Rada & Ternovnik (the Blackthorn) - Sorrow Sounds CD (album) cover


Rada & Ternovnik (the Blackthorn)


Prog Folk

3.13 | 4 ratings

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3 stars The most noticeable difference with Rada & Ternovnik's second studio album is a greater continuity to the music. While the band's first album fluctuated between lazy, minimal folk and dark interpretations of various dance themes, this one is pretty consistently just dark and poetic.

Lead singer and band leader Rada Anchevskaya is said to have a 3-1/2 octave vocal range, which was not really in evidence on their first release. It is here, and early on with a chilling chorus on 'Close Your Ears', a song whose vocals are so piercing that closing one's ears is basically not possible. I've also read Rada sings in an older dialect of Russian, one that predates the Soviet era. I'm sure that must endear her to more traditional Russians, and while anyone not versed in Russian likely won't notice the difference it is apparent she takes great care in her lyrical work and vocal phrasings.

The guitar work is also considerably more pronounced and ambitious on this album, with guitarist Vladimir Anchevsky ranging much further into somber, sometimes psychedelic- tinged forays of sound on songs like 'Dream', 'Blues' and 'Memories', most of which find Rada less bombastic but still in great command of her considerable vocal talent ('Blues' being the exception in which Rada belts out some chilling soprano atop a ripping guitar riff).

This is a much shorter record than their prior one, with nine tracks and an overall more homogeneous sound. No one tune stands out in particular, though the title track features a persistent bass line and seductive guitar riff that holds the listener despite the rather lengthy and rambling arrangement.

Rada & Ternovnik seemed to be still trying to find their groove with 'Sorrow Sounds', but there are noticeable improvements in the musical arrangements, in Vladimir Anchevsky's guitar work, in the strength of the rhythms, and most importantly in the employment of Rada Anchevskaya's monumental vocal talents. Like their first album this is a three-start effort, but the stage is being set for more ambitious music and a long run of interesting and varied studio and live releases. Check this one out and consider it the band's introduction to a decade of memorable music.


ClemofNazareth | 3/5 |


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