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Let Draka / Flight Of The Dragon
(I Hate Records)

Obscure and rarely heard Metal bands is always nice to become familiar with, coming from such countries that necessarily don't fill the headlines on a daily basis - like in some other countries tend to happen every now and then for several reasons, both in good and in bad. DRAKAR, this somewhat mystic Metal band from the Czech Republic, is basically culminated around vocalist and guitarist Ivan Sekyra, who has composed all the music for the band's 8-track debut album, "Let Draka / Flight Of The Dragon". The album was originally released on the Czech label Globus International in 1990, sung in Czech - and later on the label even put out an English version of the very record in question. Now, after 20 years since the album was originally released, I Hate Records steps in - and re-released both albums as a 2-in-1 version. My promotional copy only contains the Czech version of the album, but it's enough really to satisfy my curiosity about this sort of "hidden yet relatively mysterious Czech Metal gem". What comes to the music itself herein, it's heavily rooted in the NWOBHM, having fair amounts of both Speed and Thrash Metal mixed in. In uniqueness and originality, using their native Czech language alone, makes the album to sound somehow even more fascinating yet kind of mysterious even. The main character of DRAKAR, vocalist and guitarist Ivan Sekyra basically does not sing much in the songs but spits the words out from his mouth by his very unusual, sort of evil way - one by one, making DRAKAR's Heavy Metal more special in a good way. Listeners are surely able to draw many influences out of DRAKAR's individual, unique and straight sounding Heavy Metal. For example a song called 'Démon Uchvatitel' has a familiar VOIVOD-ish ring to the guitars (pay attention to the 3:45min mark for noticing this). Other than that, the further the album develops, the more a listener starts paying attention to all those tiny details within the songs, as DRAKAR's debut outcome is a mixed pack of familiar influences actually. MAIDEN's (or HELLOWEEN's) influence is probably the most present in 'Djovnik' when the band puts an instrumental mode on. One of my favorite cuts off this record is a mellow and mid-tempo-ish 'Poslední Krí`ová Výprava' that has got some very nice, melodious and atmospheric guitar work in it. This song will surely catch people's attention due to being a quite different sounding number from the rest of the pack. Now I only need to hunt down this 2CD version from somewhere to in order to hear the English version too - and draw a comparison to the original Czech version. I guess I need to hurry up a little bit since this re-release is limited to 500 copies only.

Luxi Lahtinen

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