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DRAKAR (Let Draka/The Flight Of The Dragon) 2CD

Recently, I have listenend to quite a few albums where certain kinds of intros seemed to be quite common. Finally I can say, that there's again a band who used an intro which surprised me. The mix of reversed played riffs as well as a sample of a choir is not the most innovative thing on earth but at least it is not the usual organ intro of certain Doom bands. That might be due to the fact that Drakar is no Doom Metal band. No. With this double CD, I Hate released a pretty original Heavy/Thrash/Black Metal outfit. Drakar’s 'Let Draka/The Fligth Of The Dragon' seems to have been a well hidden secret of the upcoming Metal scene of the Eastern European countries in the early 90s. The album comes along as a double CD with the album in the native language of Czech on one CD and English on the other. Due to the reason that I only got the Czech version of the promo CD I can't tell you anything about their language skills in English.

Sonically speaking, the sound of this album does not suggest that it was recorded in the 90s. To me, the production and the music does more sound like the 80s. Is that bad? No it is not, even though the guitars could be a little more striking and perhaps a bit more aggressive. Overall, I would describe the music as a mix of very early Metallica and Venom. But there is more to the music. Sure, the Black Metal side of the band comes along with a couple of Venom-like riffs, a certain nod to Bathory maybe here and there and a lot due to the harsh vocals that sometimes are more spoken than sung or shouted. The use of the Czech language that is pretty uncommon to my ears helps to create a slight mystical atmosphere. But in songs like 'Tunelem Zpátky' for example there are hints of Saxon that fit in very well with the rest of the music. Pretty funny is what seems to be samples of radio programs that include a Drakar introduction on Dutch if I am not mistaken.

This sample leads into the classic Metal song called 'Dvojnik' (or 'Kingdom Of The Walls' - it is the English title that is used in the introduction) that has a cool twin guitar lead like old Iron Maiden. 'Crazy Boy' (yeah that title is the same on both CDs as well as the chorus) surprises me with real singing in the chorus. And the refrain suddenly sticks in my ears, even though the rest of the song is far from everyday ear candy but a deep bow to old school Speed/Thrash Metal. 'Zrada A Pomsta' has real singing as well. Both times the band cannot impress with a great vocal delivery in the vein of old 80s Metal heros like Halford, Dickinson, Kiske or the likes but somehow the vocals still fit well with the odd sound of the band anyways. And 'Posledni Krizová Výprava' is a dark track that slows down the pace a bit and has a slight doomy atmosphere. This album is definitely not easy to get at first and definitely not for the common Metal fan that you find everywhere these days. This is for people who search for unknown acts, for originality and can see the beauty of music beyond a modern production and easy arrangements. This is for the die hards.