Medieval metal and more with Stary Olsa

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We were first put on to this band when Mike Stygal, President of the Pagan Federation, shared their cover of Pink Floyd’s Another Brick in the Wall Part II on Facebook, and we’re happy to see that not only is the rest of their output just as good — check out their version of Metallica’s One online — but there’s a whole album of metallic oriented covers in the offing.

Stary Olsa is a Belarusian medieval folk band that plays a whole panoply of different material, from folk balladry and martial songs, to Belarusian national dances and on to popular European melodies of the Middle Ages and Renaissance.

Where possible they reconstruct faithfully the musical traditions of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, which Belarus was a major part of in the 13th to 18th centuries, using old Belarusian instruments mingled with others drawn from wider European traditions. But when they go off piste, they do it with style.

“We have been making medieval music together since 1999,” explains the band on the Kickstarter page for what will be their 12th album. “We love the sound of medieval instruments, and we love the history of our country.  When we played Metallica’s One just for fun, something magical happened.  People all over the world felt it too. So many have asked for a CD!”

Indeed they did, and their cover of One has racked up over 1.5 million views on YouTube since. Other songs planned for the new album include Californication by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Deep Purple’s Child in Time and Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit.

The Kickstarter has been happily over-subscribed too, so the band is now taking votes on their latest stretch goal, a choice between covers of AC/DC’s Highway to Hell, Green Day’s Wake Me Up When September EndsEye Of The Tiger, or Black Sabbath’s Iron Man (which gets our own, personal vote, just to see how they pull it off).

More on the band’s Facebook page and website. And you can see what they do with Another Brick in the Wall below.