Title: За Тридевять Земель
Artist: Рабор (Rabor)
Rating: 4 / 5
Genre: Dungeon Synth/Folk
Label: Out of Season
Rabor is a project that has been around for some time and has explored a range of different atmospheres, from straight forward ambient to epic battle music. The latest album За Тридевять Земель explores Russian folklore, with each song based on a Russian fairy/folk tale. The artwork is what first drew my attention to this album, as it is absolutely perfect for this style of music. Traditional Slavic style, patterns, and colors are used, with Baba Yaga’s hut and a personified sun smiling on a bear playing a lute. It is rare to see something like this in Dungeon Synth, and especially at this level of high quality.
Fortunately the music is just as impressive as the artwork. Rabor mixes synths with what seem to be acoustic string instruments, and arrangements that are light hearted in nature. Rabor combines the warm atmosphere of Fief with the folk elements of Kashmar to create a sound that is unique and captivating. While many Dungeon Synth projects are dark and mournful, Rabor’s music is like a long walk through a sunny Russian forest, where folk legends and superstitions are just as real as the mountains and the trees.
The album is not limited to the light folk ambient that compromise the majority of the tracks. Traditional epic Dungeon Synth tracks can be found here as well (the song Камень на Распутье being a prime example), as well as more somber songs (such as За Рекой Смородиной). However, the overall mood of the album remains jovial and warm, which is a welcome change. The majority of music covered on this zine is dark, and this album is the perfect contrast to that. Rabor’s unique mix of Dungeon Synth and folk music is a refreshing change of pace for us at Barbarian Skull. Rabor has created the perfect soundtrack to the age old legends of his culture, immortalizing them in music that even those unfamiliar with Russian folklore can appreciate. The tape version will soon be available on Out of Season and will be one album that I will immediately purchase.