Jelonek – Jelonek

Jelonek – Jelonek – 3.5/5

Violins can have a habit of turning up in the most unusual of places and working surprisingly well. Take Profugus Mortis’ “So it begins,” or At the Gates “Red in the Sky is Ours,” for example; melodic black and death metal respectively incorporating an instrument so as to be integral to the music but not diminishing its quality. A lesser known example of this is the Polish band “Hunter,” but after a brief listen to their brand of thrash I couldn’t help but get the impression that the violin was underutilised, and it would seem that Jelonek – their violinist – thought much the same.

Now he may not be as adventurous here as many of those artist’s I’ve already mentioned, but there is unquestionably a rock/heavy metal vibe emerging between the classical and eastern folk inspired melodies, delivering a punchier equivalent of his influences on their own. Whilst the violin itself – always taking the lead role – often has a nice raw feel to it with an excellent dynamic range, the other percussion – the drumming in particular – feel as though they have suffered at the hands of a ruthless (or careless) producer; the slow and tense build-ups robbed of the impact they should have and the guitars melodic but ultimately uninspired.

His playing style varies immensely over the course of the release and yet each new element is applied subtly enough to never feel out of place, and many of the melodies succeed in never letting it all lose pace or demonstrate a lack of ideas, though the individual tracks themselves are sadly not as fortunate. Whilst given the lead role in the production it feels as though he’s stuck still playing the rhythm, tracks consisting of the same repeated riffs and utilising a conventional structure with little diversity within the track itself. It simply feels as though it’s missing something, an element that without makes for an unfinished effort. This is a no frills effort that turns up few surprises but perhaps worth a look for its sheer unconventionality of lead instrumentation.

Highlights: BaRock, Funeral of Provincial Vampire, Mosquito Flight