Friday, August 17, 2012

Munruthel - Yav, Nav i Prav

Munruthel's "Yav, Nav i Prav," or to use its proper characters, "Явь, Навь и Правь," explores many different moods.  It seems to rise like a fog, from the soil, grass, and wind, bringing moods and memories of the land and those forgotten ones who lived strictly upon it.  At times it is grandiose, masculine, and triumphant, such as in the fittingly-titled "Father-Sun," but then just as quickly slows down to a fragile and serene mood, such as the following track, "Thunderdreams (The Sleeping PERUN)."  This work is near perfectly fitting the traditional dungeon synth model, exploring all the atmospheric presets and effects of a 90's keyboard.  It makes heavy use of the orchestral sounds, but also doesn't skimp with the spacier synth patches, making this both ancient, as well as elevated above, within the cosmic and mystical realm of myth and deities.  

Those attentive dungeon synth listeners will hear a very similar style to the works of "Mistigo Varggoth Darkestra," which is understandable due to their connection through the black metal band, "Nokturnal Mortum."  As well, Munruthel is credited on my copy of the tape for "Midnight Fullmoon," though I don't see a similar such credit on Encyclopedia Metallum, so perhaps someone could comment who might know more about these associations.  

Anyways, while I wouldn't say this is a perfect album, it is still one of my favorites of the genre.  I particularly appreciate the track "Fern Flowering," which uses a very unique sort of percussion and manages to attain an atmosphere of both nature and a medieval society living in harmony with it; I find it to be particularly enchanting, and despite many repeated listens, the track never seems to get old.  One can almost picture towers rising, peasants farming, knights dying, and battles roaring in the distance, all while this one plant eases through its destined life cycle, amid the grit, stone, and toiling.  

"Yav, Nav i Prav" is split into two sides, Summerside, which is tracks 1-5, having a much warmer and energetic tone, and Winterside, which are the rest.  These latter tracks, while colder and slower, do not fall into despair.  They look out at the snow-covered landscape from the grey ramparts, seeming to recognize the dualistic nature of life that we experience, of sun and moon, man and woman, summer and winter.  It looks to the fact that we might've experienced joy and beauty, back, behind the impenetrable gates of our naïve origins, and that we might now be submerged in a violent, nihilistic whirlpool of some strange new becoming, but saying that we should have reason to expect a dawn, beyond this long, bleak night.  Or perhaps if not, then laying down tired, to face one's final rest, is just as beautiful and natural a part of existence as well, even if on the level of our species.

So what I'm saying, basically, is that "Yav, Nav i Prav" is very good.  It's often slow, quite simplistic, even possibly ignorant (there were some pretty directly racist statements on my copy of the tape), but all of these things come with the territory, which is an exploration of instinct, rather than "sophistication" created through civilization.  It is through art of such unaffected outsiders that we can get such an honest experience of the past, and it is through instruments of such familiarity and yet dustiness that we can grasp it as if some strange old dream.  I think most people with an interest in dungeon synth will get something out of this work. 


  1. You (and others) may be interested to know that this album is now available for streaming and download :

  2. Very cool! Thanks for letting me know. I updated the list, and it's also a good time to update the messed up translation of the album title I was using.