The long awaited first album from FolCore is finally here and it’s a short but beautiful baby!
But before anything else, here are few things you might need to know. Although the band plays a kind of folk metalcore, the name is not related to the genre but it rather refers to the vision of folk as the essence of creativity. “Folcore” is also a translation of “folklore”.
The main idea behind Haeresis is strongly related to this concept as well. The band states:
This album is devoted to a man’s search for himself beyond religion or ideology. A search for a path beyond the truth of beliefs dictated by someone else, beyond commonly accepted norms and values – a path to genuine freedom.
As it turns out, this echoes the meaning of the last song by Znich called “Adzinoty Sny” (Dream of Solitude). Talking about the Belarusian folk scene overall, they share something unique. Just like Litvintroll, Trolllwald, Dzivia and Plemia, FolCore have already found their own path and their original signature.
This is striking from the first songs. Although it’s not something new to this scene, FolCore use an electro touch but once again, in a very interesting way. Added to the alterations between raw heavy parts and breath-taking breaks, this won’t leave you indifferent.
The work on vocals is not put aside either, quite the opposite. The lead singer Pavel has a versatile voice and the best example of it is “Da Zorak shliak”. Elvira fully contributes to this special atmosphere as well and my favorite performance by her is “Ya Skakala, pliasala”, a cover of a traditional Belarusian song. While I’m at it, I would like to draw attention to “Mankurt”. It’s surely the most folkloric song of the album thanks to superb duda parts and especially thanks to this surprising but well done “joik” that more or less sounds like Jonne Järvelä (Korpiklaani). Also, how could I not mention the instrumental track “Nam svietsits sontsa”? Quite simply: Belarusian folk metal craic, FolCore’s style.
On the whole, Haeresis is an excellent and almost flawless first album, surely thanks to the bassist Burzum who also composes for Znich.
However, there is one thing I disagree with: their self-claimed label “shamanic folk metal”. I admit there were few elements going that way as I mentioned earlier but this is not enough to me. I think there are codes in every genre, they are not here to limit creativity but rather to clarify the basic musical concept. Because even if shamanic experiences were the theme of the lyrics, this was not obvious. That said, I don’t want them to change anything in the world. Getting a genuine shamanic touch is not easy and it needs to be sincere.
Let time take its course, FolCore have the best days ahead of them!
Haeresis is out now