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Tumulus - Winter Wood

Tumulus - Winter WoodRussian band Tumulus latest offering Winter Wood is a pleasing mixture of folk and heavy rock (the band call it Art Progressive Folk Metal). Imagine three hi-fi's in a room, with Jethro Tull from one and Steeleye Span with a mix of 70's rock bands from the other two! Sung in their native tongue, flashes of Maddy Prior and June Tabor (if they were Russian!) appear in the tones of guest vocalist Marina Sokolova on tracks three and nine (Yavir and Resnoti Sont' respectively).

The mix of folk with heavy sounds work well in my opinion, the music is excellent with many moods and changes, and with the vocals from Kuchma, make this interesting to say the least. There are many instruments on show here, flute, balalaika and the usual bass, guitar, keys and drums are just put together in the manner of an album what means business. There are a few sound effects such as church bells to give it an extra feel of atmosphere and a nice edge to the sound, where as some of the vocals work well for me for extra effect. You could say as it is sung in Russian might hamper the sales figures, but for me as I hear a lot of non-English vocal music, doesn't really matter to me at all. In fact, it works with the whole feeling of the music that the vocals are Russian!

On the technical side of things, the album clocks in at just under fifty-one minutes, and the eleven tracks just flow by. There is a strong Jethro Tull feel to many songs, both rocky and folky but with the modern sounds of the keys and bass lift the whole thing above the 'old' sounding Pagan style bands.

All the song titles are in Russian except the title track, Winter Wood. Now, I said the vocals were in Russian, but on this English sounding title, we get the vocals in English! This is a strong track, but to pick a favourite one that stands out is a little difficult, but I've gone for Yavir because of the feel and vocals from Marina. Obereg is the final track, and is a bonus track taken from "Krada" which was a demo from five years ago. I must admit I'm impressed how the whole opus fits together like a jigsaw, the sounds work well, but the drums could have been a shade higher in the mix.

On the whole, this will appeal to many folk fans, and many more on the Span and Tull paths, but for me a entertaining and enjoyable listen. The production is well thought out and presented well, and the cover art-work resembles TreeBeard from The Lord Of The Rings. Follow the link below for more information on the band.

Danny Mayo



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