Kral Na Dva Svetoj

"Kral Na Dva Svetoj" (English translation: "King of Two Worlds") is the latest album from Baltak. This band is mainly known for two things: fervent Macedonian nationalism and uncompromising war metal. The former is well represented here- like on their last album, Zaginatiot Grad, the packaging consists of pro-Macedonian maps and essays rather than the typical band photos and lyrics. Overall, the packaging doesn't seem as excellent as it was on their previous release, but it's still much better than ordinary fare.

Moving on to the music, Baltak's aural attack on this album is a logical progression from the last one. Their music on Zaginatiot Grad was very fast, repetitive, raw metal with a tearing guitar sound and sick, screamed vocals. On this latest album, they take much the same route, but this time they've refined their style and ideas a bit to create an album that seems even more effective than the previous one.

Baltak's previous album was a constant, all-out assault, making the album seem to bleed together into one big song. On "Kral Na Dva Svetoj" Baltak have sprinkled folk instruments and a few Macedonian speeches between some of the tracks, to heighten the brutal intensity of the rest of the music. Along with one (slightly) slower song, "Son of Zeus Ammon", these also serve to break the music up into smaller "chunks".

I only have two minor musical complaints. First is the inclusion of about two minutes of very boring drums at the beginning of the album. Due to its annoying length, it would have been better if they'd tracked the intro separately rather than throwing it in with the first song. My second complaint is the way that a few of the tracks fade out seemingly in the middle, or just cut out suddenly. Powerful songs like these should have more powerful, decisive endings. However, these are pretty minor problems in an overall great album.

If you liked Baltak's other works, or enjoy the idea of fast, ugly war metal that creates an atmosphere of pain and hopelessness, pick this up. Both this album and Zaginatiot Grad should serve you well.

Standout tracks: "Bucevole", "Macedonian Phalanx", "A King Was Born"... there really are no bad tracks here.

2001 vorfeed