Baradj has been around for 16 years, yet has not developed a big audience, at least not without their homeland. Although releasing numerous EP’s these 16 years have thus far resulted in three full length albums, of which Hunnar is their latest.
The musical world that Baradj creates is yet not to be missed. A very nice mix of folk, post-rock and post-metal makes you forget all musical boundaries and invites you into an ethnical world, where Bulgar traditions mix with modern metal.
While listening to this album I was traveling not only to Eastern-European countries, I was also traveling through different musical styles. Sometimes forgetting I was actually listening to a metal band. Sometimes folk and metal are mixed within songs, but there is also plenty of space for pure folk music with acoustic guitar and traditional elements in a composition fitting to modern times. The folksongs are given the time and space they deserve and really belong to the whole. The band wanted to make a conceptional album and I think they succeeded wonderfully well.
The mix of styles can sometimes get you confused a bit. Like in post-metal a beautiful, relaxed song can change into a haunting song because of the harsh vocals that comes up somewhere halfway (Tengri). The clean vocals used can sound a bit too smooth, yet the band makes very clear this is not pop-rock by immediately combining this with harsh vocals and a post-rock soundscape. Bolgar Dalasy is almost romantic, but in Altynchach, probably the most diverse song on the album, all styles strengthen each other.
Although I was unfamiliar with the band, it has been a very nice discovery. It is a musical mix that I have not heard before and is performed in a way that is well thought over and worked out in nice details.