Forest Sounds: Stworz/Alne – Warńija

Label: Werewolf Promotion
Band: Stworz/Alne
Origin: Poland

This collaboration is particular since it is not really clear where the split between Stworz and Alne is actually split. The voice of one lends cadence to the song of the other and vice versa, creating a mesmerizingly beautiful Slavonic folk album that sounds just right with the sun up in the sky these days.

Stworz has been around since 2007 and revolves around W., who also plays in  Kres, Prav and Wędrujący Wiatr. The band has done songs for various heathen circle compilations and produced a fair share of music, gradually moving to a more folky sound, throughout the years. Alne is also a Polish folk act, with metal ties, that has been around for years. Together they created this album, with vocals provided by Alne’s Anna Malarz (ex-Thy Worshiper).

From the first listen onwards, it is clear that this is not just 2 records thrown together. This is a cooperative piece of folk, in honor of the land of Warńija. An ancient part in northern Poland, bordering old Prussia. Warm waves of acoustic riffs are like the reeds in the wind. The pleasant vocals add a flavor to the repetition, which is typical for ancient folk songs, that usually were sung during work. Ambient sounds and flutes enrich the music, to give it the natural feel. At times, this can create an intensity with the spoken word passages and inherent drama of the music, like on ‘Pieśń Warmianki’. Songs that meander like the river, ever so beautifully.

The songs by Alne are only four, but most notable is the dramatic vocal style of Anne Malarz on ‘Warmińska Noc’. It’s disrupting the tranquility evoked on the earlier songs, but with a powerful, melancholy attached to it. The classic, more grand storytelling continuous on this side of the record with ‘Tęsknota’ and shows a different side of the regional tradition and experience on this all over fascinatingly pleasant record. The words in the traditional language have a power to convey the magid, even if you don’t understand one iota of it.

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