Genre: Black Metal/Folk
Country: Slovakia
Label: Invictus Productions
Year: 2020

Malokarpatan isn’t only an all-star band hailing from Slovakia (all band’s members come from the local Black Metal scene, from bands that most of them haven’t heard a single note before, such as Remmirath, Krolok and Algor). As Malokarpatan isn’t just the most well-known band coming from Slovakia. And I guess since 2017’s “Nordkarpatenland” is one of the favorites of many out there that worship this characteristic-signature blend of Black Metal, N.W.O.B.H.M. riffs and Mercyful Fate-like twin-guitar melodies that Malokarpatan delivered in their first two albums. Now in their third full length studio effort, things have a change a bit. We can find once again the Venom, Bathory (Hammerheart-era) and Master’s Hammer elements we all love, but this 80’s Heavy Metal, Doom and proto-Black Metal mixture is enriched. The medieval aesthetic is dominating their sound (with the wider use of folky interludes). The song structures is focused on dramaturgy and how the song will have more space in order the story-telling to flow easier on the listener. So the songs get longer (5 songs while the album expands into almost 50 minutes, 48:21 to be accurate) and more epic, while the gloomy atmosphere (almost cinematic) of the album is the main difference as the first two albums had more straight-forward compositions. Of course the new album is a concept one, with a story about the witches of Krupina placed somewhere in the 1600’s (the album title translates into “The Fires of Krupina”) and that thing explains a lot. Another change can be found on the line-up. The departure of vocalist Temnohor, with bassist HV now also taking up the microphone, is almost no noticeable, because to the similar recitation of the words by both singers, but it becomes crystal clear when we see the band’s first attempt at clean singing on the closer track of the album. “Krupinské Ohne” is a very strong release with a plethora of perfectly blended influences, that in the end the final result that is ambitious and interesting, is leaving you satisfied.