Review: Dzö-nga “The Sachem’s Tales”

Review: Dzö-nga “The Sachem’s Tales”

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Dzö-nga “The Sachem’s Tales”
Avantgarde Music

Starting with the important stuff, you pronounce the band name as “zone-gah”. The name Dzö-nga  originates from a Himalayan deity. So that should give you a clue as to the bands focus, mainly of different folklores from around the world.

From the bands base in Boston, the subject matter for The Sachem’s Tales is of the Algonquin folklore, which is from “up the road” in Canada.

So that’s the background info, let’s move onto the music.

The big disappointment for me, with this album, is the production. I love the theory of the concept that multi-instrumentalist Cryva has created, but the sound is severely lacking in power. It’s classically tinged Black Metal, with piano and strings and a driving set of drums, with of course, the obligatory Folk edge. But when this needs to be powerful to succeed, it really does fall flat, unfortunately.

Everything about this album, from the contrasting male and female vocals, the genre hopping time changes and mournful atmospherics, is absolutely spot-on, so my lack of enthusiasm for the sound is a major let-down..

The problem isn’t prevalent on every track though.  Track 3, The Wolves Fell Quiet, isn’t bad at all, especially when I crank the volume up and the drums just flatten the hell out of you. Unfortunately the production on the vocals just quite match the rest of the song.

Maybe this was recorded in various locations, which may be the cause of the problem, but if you sign to a label like Avantgarde, you really need to deliver, like the majority of their releases.

Dzö-nga do have massive potential, but they’ll need a bigger recording budget if they’re to make any headway with their next release.

Close, but no cigar this time around, I’m afraid.

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