If you’re looking for for something close to Russian folklore in its lightness, you definitely need to check Grai out. I discovered them back in 2016 at the Ragnard Rock Festival and since I shamefully missed their new album Ashes in December, I absolutely want to redeem myself!
Quite unexpectedly though, Grai does not completely continue with its usual sunny touches and opts for a darker direction which turns out to be the best decision they could take at this point in their career.
Following a haunting introduction showing a gloomy hand, Ashes keeps going on with heavier riffs and mesmerising whistles. The first part of the album is doing pretty good although I feel it’s been a bit more laborious for Irina to adapt her singing to slower and more stretched tunes. She finds her way in ascent by the end of “A Water Well”, stabilizes on “Darkness With Me” and gives her best on the traditional “Donya” along with Aliya. The following “Tread of Winter” is the most well finished composition on Ashes to me, especially thanks to the perfectly smooth and hollow growl of Yuri.
Apart from the singing, it was also fun to notice some surprising touches like stoner or very classical rock here and there. This mixture of various inspirations is typical amongst Western Europe bands. For the rest, I leave to you to discover their music through the usual platforms!