Uneven — Vrzino Kolo
Heavy metal is truly global. Take Serbia’s UNEVEN, who is proving that a band from a little country in central/southeastern Europe, which is not usually known for its abundance of metal music, can be a noticeable force in the genre. Founding members Darko Minic (guitar) and Stevan Radoicic (guitar) have blended their love of heavy metal with Balkan ethno folk music, which is a mixture of odd and uneven (hence their band name) rhythms and scales that are indigenous to the Balkan region. They weave complex rhythms and odd time signatures, mixed with social and political lyrical content to create a unique ethnic metal zest on their five-song demo Vrzino Kolo. On first listen, you’ll hear System of a Down comparisons, as well as Dream Theater’s influence, especially on Dordo Vujicic’s creative drum fills.
Self-titled instrumental opener “Vrzino Kolo” (literally translated as witch Sabbath), is an old Serbian superstition about a dance that witches or fairies would perform. It has an eerie Arabian sound that sets the tone for the following songs. Dark humor abounds in “Nights in the Club,” which has sort of an ‘ 80s-metal feel to it. “Uneven” is a fun song with groovy guitar riffs and great melodies. Anti-communist piece “U.S.S.R.” starts off with sampled Churchill, Kennedy, Reagan and Clinton quotes; the song seems to profess a “what if” message, with references to Soviet politician Nikita Khrushchev and the Cold War. CD closer “Fire in the Hole” has a thrashy edge to it and is the heaviest song on the CD.
This is an impressive start for the Serbians. The band has created something catchy and memorable. Their musicianship is tight, and the production is of high standards for a demo. With a few tweaks here and there, Uneven could find themselves moving on to bigger things.
By Kelley Simms