Canada’s Red Cain is finishing their “Kindred” saga with the release of “Kindred: Act II” on December 4th, 2020 to follow their 2019 album “Kindred: Act I” unleashed via Sliptrick Records. Over the past few months of this year, they have shared three singles off the forthcoming full length “Sunshine (Blood Sun Empire)”, “Demons” and “Kindred”. Today, they present their final single “Varyag and The Shrike” off the upcoming record. Recommended for fans of Kamelot, Mastodon, and Amaranthe the track can be heard via its premiere today on Metal-Rules.
Check out the single streaming below.
Vocalist Evgeniy Zayarny explains the story behind the song in further detail:
“Much of storytelling has historically been in the form of fables, and with “Varyag and the Shrike”, we wanted to create one of our own as a story element for the “Kindred” album saga. This fable and this warlike anthem are about accepting your own mortality and acknowledging your place in the memory of future generations.
A shrike is a bird of prey that kills via impaling its quarry on thorns, barbed wire, or any other sharp points – leaving a grotesque reminder of its hunting prowess. In this track, they play a Valkyrie-like role, taking the souls and bodies of fallen warriors home.
This track is, in essence, a dirge – a lament for the dead, with our hero metaphorically in dialogue with the shrike. To achieve a doomy, thick, and oppressive atmosphere, we dropped down the guitars, sped up the drums, and put 8 layers of harmonies into the massive, haunting chorus that drives the entire track forward. The track art is a reimagining of the warrior’s head from Alexander Pushkin’s epic poem “Ruslan & Ludmila”, infested here by a malevolent Lovecraftian force, and decorated with the shrike and their victims. We can’t deny taking some inspiration from Dan Simmons’ Hyperion Cantos as well, where the entity known as the Shrike plays a similar, but also a very different part.
Despite the dark content, our hero and the track itself eventually seek to overcome their own intrinsic melancholy and raise a rallying cry to those who follow, to take up his banner and continue onward. Conceptually, the track represents humanity’s continuity through millennia via retellings of glorious deeds and sacrifices in the name of its survival. For even if one falls, many will step forward to take his place.
So lock ranks, stand shoulder to shoulder with your brothers and sisters – and raise your face to the Sun. This is Varyag and the Shrike.”
Described as a vehicle of “Melancholy and Rage” and born out of the emerging music scene of Alberta, Canada, 2017 YYC Awards Metal Recording of the Year winner Red Cain is a power/progressive metal project with Russian roots. With intricate songwriting, a heavy yet melodic feel reminiscent of progressive acts, and elements of Slavic myth and Russian paganism in the storytelling tradition of the cult of Veles, Red Cain champion a fluid, dynamic, and unique musical style centered around telling dark, conceptual Faustian sagas and constructing those into an unforgettable live experience.
Stated by frontman Evgeniy Zayarny as wanting to bring back the “Devil’s music” mysticism all too often missing in modern metal acts, Red Cain delivers flair, groove, and an intricate, lethal edge in their music. Listeners might well pick out elements reminiscent of such luminary acts as Kamelot, Symphony X, Tesseract, Amaranthe, Alter Bridge – whipped into a venomous new shape. The current incarnation of the band is all of these influences mixed with a lot of vodka and Eastern European melancholy, shaken and stirred.
Red Cain released its debut self-titled EP in November 2016 to rave reviews from a variety of publications such as Dead Rhetoric, MetalUnderground, and Firewind magazine, among many others. Red Cain’s EP had the honour of winning Metal Recording of the Year at the 2017 YYC Music Awards. The band has a strong emerging fanbase around the world, being named one of the top 200 bands of 2016 by Headbangers Latinoamerica and the EP’s cover art selected as one of 2016’s 15 best by Metal Underground.
Red Cain’s first full-length album “Kindred: Act I” was released in March 2019 to a variety of excellent reviews internationally, reaching #1 on Canadian College Radio Earshot Loud charts and establishing the band as a force in the Canadian metal scene, and landing the band a distribution deal with European label Sliptrick Records. A variety of festival appearances at Loud As Hell Metal Festival, Hyperspace Metal Festival, and Canada Wacken Competition have served to cement that status. Red Cain’s music videos for “Juliet” and “Zero” have to date garnered 11 international film festival awards, including the Music Video Award at the Accolade Global Film Competition (LA).