Darkestrah: Turan

East meets West for a rite of shamanic folk black metal

Darkestrah album

You can trust Louder Our experienced team has worked for some of the biggest brands in music. From testing headphones to reviewing albums, our experts aim to create reviews you can trust. Find out more about how we review.

It’s testament to the wide variety of interpretations possible within the black metal genre that Turan is released at the same time as Mistur’s In Memoriam: both albums can easily be categorised as ‘epic folk black metal’, yet they each offer a completely different take on that template.

Darkestrah’s is definitely the darker and more organic of the two, with Turan contrasting embittered guitar work and furious blasting with more thoughtful introspection, making use of swelling strings and tribal drumming in the process. Though now based in Germany, Darkestrah originally hail from Kyrgyzstan, a relatively small country lying between Kazakhstan and China. Given their origins, it’s perhaps unsurprising that their sound adds plenty of Eastern folk touches to a more northern European, second-wave black metal foundation.

Influences from bands such as Drudkh and Negura Bunget surface periodically, and the earthy magic of the latter is particularly evident during the more experimental moments (tellingly, the band describe themselves as “Shamanic”).

Frequently hypnotic and with a use of traditional instrumentation, this is a sometimes sombre yet frequently stirring listen.