Open Access is a Polish folk metal band that recently released their debut EP entitled “Over A Mountain Peak”. Folk metal is always a difficult subgenre of metal for me; though I’ve grown to appreciate folk instruments and melodies over the years, I find these bands don’t really capture my attention often. For this reason, the folk metal label on Open Access is a bit of a misnomer, simply because they provide a lot of riffs. These are pretty serious riffs too, as you will find out quite quickly on the aptly titled opening track “Vengeance”. Of course, there is a slightly folky breakdown not too long into the song, which is where the band transforms into something a little bit more predictable. Throughout the entire EP however, there is little compromise in the guitars, as they’re always heavy and always delivering something worth hearing. Even on the title track, which is definitely the song with the most folk influence, the guitars are still riffing away.
The band’s singer, Marta Muszynka, is definitely a talented vocalist. Her range doesn’t reach Tarja levels, but it is definitely on the higher side of things. At times, some of her vocal lines are not ideal, but overall, she delivers a solid performance on this record. Not unlike many other bands, her vocals are at their best when singing in her native language, as “Kozak” displays. While I’m not a big fan of lyrics that aren’t in English, there’s no denying that they’re more effectively musically in this particular case. Aside from the vocal and guitar performance, there is not too much that stands out on “Over A Mountain Peak”. Although Open Access has a violinist, her playing is more on the subtle side of things, as alluded to earlier. This is a major plus for me, but it means that there is not a lot to latch onto in terms of her playing. Likewise, the drums and bass both exist to support the riffs, but do little else. On the whole though, this release is a worthwhile effort. It stands out from the pack in the sense that the element is on the metal and not the folk, and so this EP will have a much broader appeal than to just fans of folk metal.
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3.7/5 or 74%.
Written by Scott