Rastaban - Arise

  Van Muylem    27 augustus 2015

After several passages at the great Trolls et Légendes festival, great gigs in The Netherlands (Castlefest, just to name one) and soon a gig in the UK it was time for a second CD. Time also to show that Rastaban has a lot of friends in their scene (and even outside if you know that none less but Karolina Pacan joined them on stage for the 10th anniversary of Trolls et Légendes) ...

Rastaban has always been a melting pot of influences and languages and on their second one it all keeps the same spirit. Mich (the drummer) was so kind to send me some extra info about the lyrics and languages, so I’ll incorporate it in my review. Another good thing is the artwork of the album, very into their fantastic world!

They start with Anadolka:  a very old traditional one from Bosnia, it’s a love song referring to the period when Bosnia was still a part of the Ottoman Empire. If you google "anadolka lyrics", you'll probably find the translation of it. It's considered as a song of the "Sevdah" style, which is a sort of Blues of the Balkan, quite specific to Bosnia. Their version is done in real Rastaban style, with the passion and the energetic flow (go see them live and you’ll understand what I mean). The slidjeridoo is a bit pushed into the back sound of the track, but the melancholic and true bluesy sound makes this song worth it. Towards the end it gets a bit of an adrenaline rush but ends in a vocal melt down.

On Arise they combine a more rock kind of guitar parts (the touch of Dominic) with Mongolian throat singing and elements on the fiddle that could be an Irish jig. This time it’s simply sung in English. In the last part of the song, you can hear the hurdy-gurdy of Fieke, from Cesair as special guest. Working together with Cesair feels like a natural thing and it won’t be the last time. I like the more up-tempo drive. This is also the album title track and a very festive track!

Dance of Bliss is a composition from the hand of Steph, on which Mich has written the lyrics (about Nataraja). The Indian vibe and the slidjeridoo give it a special touch, despite the melancholic feel. This one might grow out its shape and become a great live track.

Hore Dolom is a traditional song from the Ukrainian Carpathians, in Lemko language, which is a bit different from the classical Ukrainian, but still completely understandable (for Ukrainians

 Zora is a traditional song from Brittany, but is here completely adapted into the typical Rastaban style. The lyrics are in French, English and the chorus in Serbian/Croatian: a very festive and more up-tempo track with lots of emotions in it. It’s very hard to stand still and will be another hit on many stages!

Moja Dusa gets a new version (check their first album): a more epical touch and more into an orchestral version. The result is a very melancholic and melodic track (the kind I absolutely adore).  Sophie from Cesair plays the cello and violin on it, Arno from la Horde the viola and Mathieu from La Horde mandolin.

Interlude is literally a break in the album, with the harp from Steph. Feel free to meditate during this song, as it feels as if written for meditation. Free your mind and think about positive things in your life, catch some fresh air …

 Finis Terrae is composed by Steph, the French lyrics have been written by Mich. It's an allegory of Death, the Last Journey, compared to an endless boat adventure to Finis Terrae, the end of the known world. The lyrics are thus very depressive, but the musical vibe is very hopeful. I sense an Indian vibe and some catchiness! It’s once again a great track!

Rusalka has Croatian Lyrics and is musically a joint venture with our Greek friends from Daemonia Nymphe. A Rusalka is a water Nymph in the Slavic tradition. It's the story of a guy who is enchanted by a Rusalka, with the usual dramatic result of it. The lyrics and music are a perfect combination, just as the joint venture!

L'Aube des Dieux means "the Dawn of the Gods" and is officially the closing track. The title is well chosen, but a bit too soft as end track. I must admit I expected a big (melodic) bang, but hey: we got enough pearls on this album to enjoy it with full throttle!

Free Money is a bonus track. It's a bit a gift for Marine, because Patti Smith was her main inspiration when she started to sing. It's even because of her that she started to sing. So this cover of one of her songs is an homage to this great Lady. Looking forward to hear this one on stage and see how the fans react to this one!

This album is an upgrade compared to the first album (not only because of the collaborations): the sound is wider, more worked out and you feel that they have more experience. I get good feelings about the possible live versions, it’s giving an appetite for more and that is always the best feeling! Thumbs up and thank you for the great time!