Reviewed by Peter John Willoughby
The name "Pospolite Ruszenie" is taken from a pre-13th century Polish term describing the mobilisation of armed forces. The band combines Polish musicians from the Slavic folk band Open Folk and gothic folk metal bands Illuminandi and Rumor. The members are Jan Trebacz (vocals, hurdy-gurdy), Pawel Iwaszkiewicz (bagpipes, flutes, schawms), Pawel Muzyka (vielle, viola da gamba - treble and tenor, violone), Krzysztof Kramarz (electric guitars - six and seven string, acoustic guitar), Bako (bass guitar) and Papirus (drums). Their music is a fusion of melodic metal with mediaeval, Renaissance and baroque music. The tracks all feature clear vocals sung in a gothic style, which compliments the folk metal arrangements. Jan Trebacz explains, "The lyrics are either passages from the Bible in Old Polish or medieval Polish religious songs (Żołtarz). I could supply the lyrics in Polish, but please don't ask me to translate them into English - they'll end up crippled. A perfect translation would have to be in Middle-English or Early Modern English (think Shakespeare) and I simply can't do that. To translate them into plain English would do them no justice at all. So I'd rather keep them in Polish." The Świebodność EP (the title comes from a medieval song popular in the 15th century and means a generosity or a magnanimity) contains three tracks and is available as a free download from the band's website. "Zoltarz Jezusow, czyli Jezusa Judasz przedal" is a "Lament over Jesus, or Jesus betrayed by Judas" (circa 1488). "Pan Bog Wszechmogacy" is "Lord God, the Almighty" (1563) and tells the story of the salvation of mankind, from the moment of creation to Christ's sacrifice. Whilst "Niescie chwale, mocarze" is "Ascribe Unto The Lord, O Ye Sons Of Might" with the lyrics being taken from Psalm 29, translated by Jan Kochanowski and musical arrangement by Mikolaj Gomulka, published in 1580. First and foremost, they are all superb musicians and you cannot fault their technical ability.
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