Beer Bear – За Незримой Чертой

Label: Sound Age Productions
Release: October 2012

By Laetitia
Every now and then a bear loving band surfaces in Metallonia. Take for example Svölk, the True Norwegian Bear Metal group, that recently released their album Nights Under The Round Table. The teddy loving group reviewed here hail from Russia and they are not new to the subject of bears. Or beers for that matter.

Beer Bear issued their debut Мёд in 2010. Two years later, they’re back with an album based on pretty much the same formula, За Незримой Чертой (Beyond the Invisible Line) . Beers, bears, up-beat Scandinavian rhythms à la kings of folk metal Korpiklaani and elements of Slavic folk music. The song titles might give away the atmosphere on the first half of the record: ‘Bears’ Wedding Day’, ‘Fire-Mead’, ‘Drink and Revel, Bears’ Gentry!’ and ‘Folk-n-Roll’, are happy, intoxicating tunes. Tales about bears (I assume) are sung in a style that is common for Slavic metal bands and these vocals are supported by cheerful flutes and violin tunes.

From ‘Beyond the Invisible Line’ on, the group proves to be capable of more than just riding along on the wave of folk metal success. The party music is exchanged for more serious, compelling folk songs that each last about eight minutes. All in all, these tracks are more impressive than the previously described, easy listening tunes. The only comment is that the band could have alternated the fast songs with the slow. You are rushed through the first half of the album and severely slowed down on the second half. Variety would benefit the record.

All in all, Beer Bear shows that not all newcomer bands in the folk/pagan metal scene should be written off instantly. Their folky songs are nice, but the latter half of За Незримой Чертой is simply more worthwhile.

Rating: 7/10
Track list
1. Интро (Intro)
2. Медвежья Свадьба (Bears’ Wedding Day)
3. Огнемёд (Fire-Mead)
4. Пей, Гуляй, Медвежья Шляхта! (Drink and Revel, Bears’ Gentry!)
5. Фолк-н-Ролл (Folk-n-Roll)
6. За Незримой Чертой (Beyond the Invisible Line)
7. Хельгер Данске (Holger Danske)
8. Ведогонь (Twin Soul)
9. Na Zielonej Ukrainie
10. Token of Time (Ensiferum cover) (bonus track)
11. Vodka (Korpiklaani cover) (bonus track)

Beer Bear