Silent Stream of Godless Elegy
Style: Folk Metal
Release date: 17 January, 2011
Playing time: 48:37

I remember first hearing the music of Silent Stream Of Godless Elegy back around 1996, when I got hold of their Demo tape “Apotheosis” and debut album “Iron”. Amidst my confusion as to which was the album name and which was the band moniker, I was impressed at the originality of the music and also reckoned I had never heard a Death Metal growl more warm and emotionally intense than that – quite a contrast from the Death Grind bands that then dominated the Metal scene of the Czech Republic.

Fast forward 11 years and 5 other albums later and SSOGE release “Návaz”. The band’s music has kept evolving but it’s also clear that there’s still that indefinable magic that enables the creation of something special. The band uses acoustic/ethnic instruments such as violins, cellos and dulcimers so that, together with Death Metal elements, they instil a dominant mood that is melancholic yet intriguing. In contrast with the early repertoire of SSOGE, the female vocals are here used more as lead vocals rather than backing.

For those unfamiliar with SSOGE, the lyrics are entirely in Slovak language. Personally I felt this fact detracted slightly from my appreciation of the compositions and I suspect this feeling will be shared by many other listeners. It seems that “Návaz” is a reference to a traditional amulet made from hair, blackberry leaves, ash and other odd ingredients. Indeed the fact that Moravian/Slavonic ethnic elements are inherent to their music makes SSOGE pretty much unique.

“Návaz” was produced by Helloween’s Roland Grapow in his own studios. This must have been quite an unusual experience for him but one gets the impression that he resisted the temptation to excessively change or polish the music.

Probably best appreciated over a prolonged period and when listened to in isolation (i.e. with headphones) this is a recommended experience. Let the “Návaz” spin...

(Check out this video-link of Silent Stream Of Godless Elegy laying down the choirs and cello tracks with Roland Grapow here.

01. Návaz / Join
Mokoš / Earth Mother
Zlatohlav / Golden Head
Skryj hlavu do dlaní / Hide Your Head into Hands
Přísahám / Promise
Sudice / The Fate
Dva stíny mám / I Have Two Shadows
Pramen, co ví / Thinking Spring
Samodiva / Fay
Label: Season of Mist
Distribution: Season of Mist
Reviewed by: Chris Galea
Date: 12 January, 2011