I am always on the look out for good medieval music. Last month I reviewed Moat Jumpers Christmas CD, Christmas At The Renaissance Fair. Recently I discovered a band out of Poland named Pospolite Ruszenie. Their latest
album, I am stuck in my ways and still call them albums, not very 21st century I know!, their latest CD, is titled ‘Swiebodnosc’ and is classified as Medieval folk rock metal. Quite an eclectic mix of generes! We’ll get back to that in a minute.
First let’s introduce the band. They are:
- Jan Trêbacz – vocals, hurdy-gurdy
- Pawel Iwaszkiewicz – bagpipes, flutes, schawms
- Pawel Muzyka – vielle, viola da gamba (treble and tenor), violone
- Krzysztof Kramarz – electric guitars (6 and 7 string), acoustic guitars
- Papirus – drums
- Bako – bass guitar
Pospolite Ruszenie has brought together musicians from two completely different musical worlds: that of rock, and That of early music. The band’s line up comprises a members of the cult band Open Folk and rock bands. Our music Fuses (hard) rock with Medieval, renaissance and baroque music, and classic rock line-up is Accompanied by musicians performing on period instruments of replicas. We use original Old Polish poetry for our lyrics.
I would classify the rock part as more industrial rock, which is still hard. My first thought when I heard it was Rammstein, the industiral rock band from Germany, which i really like. But don’t let that scare you away!
Pospolite Ruszenie succesfully mixes their hard rock with medieval intruments for an enjoyable
album CD. This is a short CD, more of an EP really with only three songs. Each song offers its own diverse mix of modern and medieval instruments. The song Niescie chwale, Mocarze has a great bagpipe groove that is infectious! Back in the early 1970’s there was an up and coming band that mixed rock and bagpipes and they are still rocking 35 years later!
Jan Trêbacz, the lead singer has a great baritone voice that quickly dives into the bass range. The vocals are not the screaming, shrieking kind you would imagine from hard/industrial rock. However, there is one vocal section in Niescie chwale, Mocarze that has a deep growl, grungy feel, which is a little too hard core for my taste. Otherwise the vocals are crisp and clean.
Niescie chwale, Mocarze music video
First I need to explain my background a bit. My ‘coming-of-age’ time was the 1980’s. I grew up watching MTV, back when the ‘M’ still stood for Music and listened to all kinds of 80’s music including the hard rock and hair bands like Guns N’ Roses, Motely Crue and Metallica. Heavy guitar licks, kicking drum beats and grooving bass riffs don’t bother me, in fact I love them!
Now you know where I am coming from. And with that I have to say I really enjoyed this CD. The electric guitar mixed with the sound of the flute and bagpipes work together extremely well. Listening to this CD reminded me of watching A Knights Tale for the first time. At the beginning you see a medieval fair and jousting arena, the crowd starts clapping and then bursts into a rendition of ‘We Will Rock You’ by Queen! It mixes modern with medieval and does it perfectly. Pospolite Ruszenie does the same thing with thier music.
I really enjoyed this CD but I understand it is not for everyone. If loud electric guitars are not your thing, then this CD might not be either. I would recommend listening to the songs and decided for yourself. Swiebodnosc is available as a free digital download on the Pospolite Ruszenie website. Then come back here and leave a comment about the CD.
What’s that? Oh, the band from the 70’s that mixed rock and bagpipes. That would be AC/DC
Medieval Archives gives Pospolite Ruszenie, Swiebodnosc 3 1/2 out of 5 stars. This CD isn’t for everyone. But those that like it will come back for more.