By Dr. Abner Mality

In 2008, I traveled “The Great Silk Road” with Darkestrah and discovered an ancient world of Central Asian black metal. Since then, the road has been closed, but now I find myself traveling with them to the land of “Turan”.

This unique band brings a completely different flavor to the black metal experience. “The Great Silk Road” was an awesome introduction and “Turan” carries on along that path. Maybe a little bit too closely at times, but the authenticity of this sound is beyond repute. Darkestrah perform long epic songs that combine the timeless folk of the Central Asian steppes with fast and mournful black metal that’s full of buzzy rawness and throat-ripping screams. “One With the Grey Spirit” has a long, quiet buildup that might test your patience, but you can smell the smoke of ancient bonfires as you hear the shaman’s spell. Then we get that intense black metal blast, played with a kind of sad, majestic feeling. This first song is the longest, but none of the six are exactly short.

I also like the pounding epic “Erlik Khan” and the relatively straightforward “Gleaming Madness”. With the last two tracks, the band wanders around the plains a bit and becomes a bit monotonous in spots. But even in the lesser moments, there’s a feeling of long ago that never leaves the music. It’s this feeling of the long gone world of nomads and warriors that permeates Darkestrah’s work and makes them a very unique and notable band. Give praise to the elder gods as you ponder the ways of “Turan”!