Various Artists: One And All, Together, For Home

International compilation seeks to avert the culture wars

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Judging by the title alone, one can tell that this endeavour, initiated by Drudkh’s Roman Sayenko, is ambitious in its using the metal niche/subculture as springboard to address every European and their grannies.

Gathering bands from Ukraine (Drudkh), Portugal (Ava Inferi), Finland (Haive), Norway (Kampfar), France (Himinbjorg), The Netherlands (Mondvolland), England (Winterfylleth) and Ireland (Primordial) is a noble effort, becoming all the more poignant facing the ugly conflict in Ukraine (shame no Russian band is represented), declaring that ethnic pride, separated from the political manipulation of the nation state and the market rationale it defends, is benign and beautiful.

The contributions on this double album set it light years apart from the whiny, unsavoury neo-folk norm by musical merit alone. Whether it is folk or a metal interpretation of traditional sounds, One And All… is brimming with power, celebration, and a unity of difference.