The Russian neo-folk band SMORODINA REKA released their new single “The Ancient Trail” in December 2021. If you are looking for some high-quality acoustic folk with orchestral arrangements, then this is the sound you’re looking for! The composition dives deep into the roots of Slavic paganism blended with soft acoustic guitar and violin/cello arrangements that would make its listener feel like a traveler somewhere in Skyrim.
The song starts with ravens cawing and soft acoustic guitar with eerie chants that give a very Nordic feel to it, as the vocalist finds her inspiration from bands like WARDRUNA, FAUN, and MYRKUR. Slowly, the tempo raises, the strings kick in, and the chants intensify. After 50 seconds, we get to the powerful yet melancholic vocals delivered perfectly by Alexandra Sidorova, who has a background in classical music and experience working with numerous composers and metal-folk musicians like ARKONA. The core themes of the song are the power of the spirit and the search for the right path. It was the lyrics from the chorus that got my attention:
“You will find your path in silence
Don’t let the flame of your soul fall asleep”
Musically, it is more down-to-earth compared to the material from their album “Predvestie,” which is more epic and cinematic in scale. “The Ancient Trail” is a more personal composition with sorrow to it – among the calmness of the acoustic instruments, Alexandra sounds absolutely immense, her beautiful voice pouring otherworldly.
Don’t forget to check out the lyric video, it includes ravens!