Black Velvet Band is the self-titled debut EP from Polish group Black Velvet Band. The EP has been released as a free download and contains three tracks. The group’s only prior release is a one track download that was recorded with a much smaller line-up than exists now and a less developed sound compared to what this EP brings to the table.
Describing themselves as ‘heavy folk’ the music on the EP to these ears sits on the borderline between folk metal and folk rock. While the folk side of this group is never in question, it’s more difficult to decide what side of the rock/metal line this band actually sits on. On one hand the Black Velvet Band EP is not that heavy, either as a result of the self-produced production job or by design, but the riffs themselves that can be heard behind the folk instrumentation are clearly metal in nature, especially in the opening track, Ze Śmiercią w Kości Gram.
Regardless of what side of the line it ultimately falls on, it’s clear to me that Black Velvet Band made a promising EP here. While I would say there is room for improvement the potential for an interesting full-length is pretty apparent as the band has a good grasp on how to combine folk instrumentation with rock/metal guitar riffs in a compositional sense at least. Also their vocals, which are a mix of male and female, are pretty good for the approach. Really it’s mostly production issues that hold the release back for me. The production as it is seems to be holding the riffs back, and sometimes it makes me wonder if they even need to be there with this production job. Since they’ve previously produced a song without the rock/metal element and done it well enough, this production only serves to highlight that, if this is the route Black Velvet Band wish to take their music in, that they need to improve the production of their music. Bearing in mind that it is a self-produced early effort however, this EP really isn’t bad at all. An above average tier rating is deserved and I’ll be keeping an eye on these guys to see what they do next.
(Originally written for Heavy Metal Haven (http://metaltube.freeforums.org))