Album Review :: ZRADA :: Legend(s)

by Ryan Sorensen

In 2016, the Winnipeg-based Ukrainian folk-punk band released their masterpiece of a third full-length album entitled Legend to rave reviews.  Combining a traditional Eastern European folk influence with everything from metal to jazz to Afro-inspired beats, the album was an explosion of creativity made by and for people who love music in all its forms. 

The epic soundscape was meticulously constructed and moved effortlessly from one side of the musical cosmos to the other. At one moment the music could elicit a tinge of melancholy as it moves slowly through a traditional instrumental, only for the script to be flipped seconds later and sound like something out of an Ozzy Osbourne concert.  On that note the album features a dynamic cover of the Black Sabbath classic ‘War Pigs’ that is truly excellent.

After the release of Legend, ZRADA concentrated mostly on their live shows for the next few years, with only the 2018 single ‘The Fog’ being released.  With the addition of their new guitarist, Adam Ciric now in the fold, things look to be heating up for the band.  They already released a brand new single, ‘Secret World’ and now have dropped Legend(s), a re-release of Legend with the addition of an instrumental coda to the highlight song ‘The Falcon’s Question’ entitled ‘ Katya’, and a reimagining of the album closer ‘Find the Sea’.  According to the band’s press release, the new songs are an indicator of what fans can expect as ZRADA enters the studio for work on their new album. 

Katya’ makes a perfect addition to the musical odyssey that is Legend(s), giving a needed breath between Falcon’s guitar-heavy outro and the bombastic drum beginning of ‘By the Lviv Castle’.  It is a lighter folk song that strikes beautiful, somber darker tones.  Characterized by its European folk roots and beautiful harmonies, the song is the perfect reflective piece in the middle of the album that strikes the perfect notes and strengthens the album as a whole. 

The changes to ‘Find the Sea’, now called ‘Find the Sea(s)’ sends the album off with a slightly different tone than the 2016 original.  The new version features a more dynamic and showy guitar display in the outro which ends the album on a high-energy, fun note rather than the more subdued original.All in all, Legend(s) is an incredibly fun, entertaining album from a band that is nearly bursting at its seams with creativity.  If you heard the album from a few years back it is definitely worth revisiting and checking out what’s new and refreshing yourself with a fantastic work of art.  If it’s brand new to you, you’re in for a treat!

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