Hailing from Belarus, the recording entity known as Adliga can feast on a rich tradition of musics from their own motherland, and the decision to sing in their native tongue (though English language translations of the lyrics have been provided) adds to the fierce pride of this release.

Yet, as has been well documented elsewhere, heavy metal and it’s attendant genres has become a global Lingua Franca over the years, and there is evidence of this within the musical argots utilised throughout Vobrazy. This meeting of Eastern and Western traditions gives a liberating feel to the music of Adliga, who mine not only their own but the common canon’s legacy voraciously and to some effect.

But it is not only heavy metal that forms a mainstay of the art of Adliga; Midway through Žyvy, perhaps the most immediately appealing of the compositions that make up the album, as the guitars form a wall of sound one is reminded of one of  Béla Bartók‘s violin concertos, perhaps the allegro non troppo of number 2; Of course, this may be a surprising place to find such a comparison, but art exists to surprise, and the skill of the artist here suggests such a comparison is more than justified.

Female vocals add allure and vibrancy to the framework of the piece; Katja Sidelova offers much as a vocalist to the collective, augmented by more prosaic male vocals which, though not as mesmeric, offer clear counterpoint and the necessary element of contrast. A tried and trusted trope from the ages, certainly, but used with such art as to become almost natural to the ear and therefore almost reassuring to the listener.

Casual observers may warm better to the initially languid, folk-based Paparać Kvietka, a simpler composition with sparse instrumentation that leans more heavily on the emotion imparted by Sidelova and less on the heaviness of the instrumentation, but the committed listener may find pleasure wherever they come to rest on this fine collection of songs if they are willing to invest time and care in their appreciation of it’s delights.

Vobrazy releases on November 5th.