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(2022 - Bafe's Factory - Finland)
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What can come from a Finish quintet: Emilia Lajunen (Nyckelharpa), Jani Snellman (Electric Bass), Patrik Fält (Drums), Petri Prauda (Finnish Bagpipes), Sanna Salonen (Soprano Saxophone), could be filled with adjectives such as Nordic folk fused with speed metal, or grindcore folk, yet all that would be short on the combustion and passion the group has command of. This is not the condensed metal and folk of dark Scandinavian death, but a hot pepper version of what pioneers like Hedningarna (a Swedish/Finnish fusion group) ended with, and a hand full of Northside artists began with in the gently loved 1990's. Plus the muscle, much of it they have, and past the fake blood and fangs, RITVA NERO bring to the stage a real passion, and a lifeblood that captures the audience full metal jacket.
Traditional folk experts may identify the dances of maanitus, mazurka, and polka, as far back as the 1800's but the uploading of present day metal fusions are what swirls the compositions into a vibe that takes the listener into a Whirling dervish (along the Sufi path), once over the twilight, twice under the sacred soil of Konya. Not naked of the Uralic foundations, and certainly not trying to break away from Medieval times, RITVA NERO incorporate an alien type of dark folk world music, only with a very sharp edged sword. The tempo keeps the audience on their feet, or their toes, if the listener is the laid back kind. If you wonder how the musicians are so sharp and great with their instruments, the fact is the band formed in 2017, so this 2022 release although their debut as the banner as they are, spent most of the lifetime honing these skills you hear.
Any time spent with the songs, are cases of asking for a buzz cut, two raised eyebrows, an hour of adrenaline rush, a smile on your pretty face, and/or a new kick in your step. Taking in the beauty of a very old traditional folk base, posed underneath a power house of speed metal, is something to experience. This album is easy to love, obvious to cherish, and important to pay close attention to. RECOMMENDED.
©Reviewed by Lee Henderson 3 - 10 - 2022
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