(No Beer In Heaven)
Arkona, Battlelore, Weird Al Yankovic
We have been previewing a variety of obscure folk metal bands over the last several years in hopes of finding a hidden gem. Well let us tell you it has been a long struggle and continues to be one. Welcome Protokult and their latest release No Beer in Heaven. The five piece Canadian band includes a melting pot of Polish, Russian, and Irish backgrounds. Their biography indicates that their goal "is to unite these cultures into one sound balancing tradition and folklore with heavy, thrash and black metal". The word "unite" might be a bit lofty here. We prefer the phrase "slap together". Oh… and we would also like to replace "balancing" with "bulldozing".
No Beer in Heaven is a potpourri of absolute baboonery and shenanigans. The album wreaks of nonsensical lyrics that make your stomach turn. Musically the album attempts to throw everything possible at the listener to see what sticks and the only thing with the least bit of glue is an occasional flute or bagpipe. We knew we were in trouble from the onset when a belch is highlighted in the opening track, "Get Me a Beer". This album defines "over-the-top" and revels in hopes of appealing to music fans that love gimmicks and comical metal. Random folk metal instruments appear at the oddest times throughout the album and there is absolutely no semblance of intelligent melodies, percussion or song structure. The human ear just cannot adapt from the absorption of female Celtic vocals to male Type-O-Negative baritone morphing into death metal grittiness... it's just too much and doesn't work.
1. Get Me a Beer!
2. Heaven Cast Me Out
3. My Father's Word
4. Flight Of The Winged Hussar
5. Sol Intention
6. Edge Of Time
8. Desert Scourge
10. Summer's Ode
11. Razbival Okovi Perun
12. Water Of Life
Only because we have to do it, if you were looking for a few tolerable standout tracks off the album we would recommend "Sanctuaries" for its use of melodic female chanting and unique swirling guitar and electronica. (It also helps that the track is only about two minutes). The only other track that we can say stands out is track nine "Gorale". We are suckers for the mandolin and the track actually contains some pretty good guitar riffs and wawa pedal use. Sorry folks that is the best we can do. The ten other tracks infuse horrible lyrics,off-key vocals, forced chaos and uncomfortable incoherence.
We plod onward in search of a decent obscure folk metal album. Any help our audience can provide would be appreciated. - 11/12/2014
Standout Tracks: Sanctuaries, Gorale