Hailing from the cold lands of Russia, Arkona presents us their fifth full length album. This album is probably one of the longest Paga/Folk Metal albums that I’ve heard in my life clocking nearly 80 minutes of very attractive music.
The band has been refining their Pagan/Folk style since they formed in 2002 and with “Goi, Rode, Goi!” they hava produced their best album to date, but it’s too long. I’m all about getting more for my money, but sometimes is better just to split stuff into an EP and a full length album.
Two years after their amazing album “Iron”, Ensiferum is back with an even better album with “From Afar”. The band was touring for most of the 2 years in between releases but they managed to squeeze this brilliant album.
“From Afar” features nine racks that showcase the strengths that the band has showed in their previous releases and managed to make them more epic by adding new elements that blend to perfection with their old ones.
I was completely blown away by this album since the first time I played it, and I have been listening to it ever since. Tverd is a Russian band that emerged from the band Pagan Reign, and they play some epic folk metal unlike other bands.
The band’s sound is extremely bombastic and very rich in folk instruments that had me trying to figure out exactly what instruments they use for a few hours. From start to end this album provides us with epic songs filled with great vocals, an amazing array of instruments and traditional Metal elements.
Six years have passed since Glittertind released their last full length. After a re-release of their first 2 full lengths on their new label, Napalm Records, they bring us “Landkjenning”. This album opens starts like a traditional Viking/Folk metal release, a very decent one I might add, but as people know if they heard their album “Evige Åsatro” they mix some punk elements in their music.
Black Messiah is one of those bands that is very hard to determine what kind of music they play. They combine Black Metal influences with Viking/Folk metal and they excel at it, creating a very nice blend of genres in a very diverse album. Every song offers different elements that will keep even the most A.D.D person paying attention all the way to the end.
After getting almost crucified by fans and reviewers for their 2007 album “The Scythe”, Elvenking returns with a pretty solid release that mixes Folk Metal and Power Metal. The album kicks off with a traditional folk intro and gets into full gear on the second song. You can clearly hear the Folk style, but what makes it different is the vocals. The vocal style is more Power Metal oriented. How ever the album is mainly acoustic.
This DVD does a great job capturing the intensity of this band while performing live. Taking songs from several different perfomances, this DVD will make you want to see this band live. The costumes and stage makeup is great and provides an authentic feeling to this bands music. Century Media also included english subtitles during the performances so we can understand what they are saying (this is one thing that is neglected in many live DVD's that I've seen over the years).
Euphoreon hails from New Zealand and their demo “Before The Blacked Sky” took me by surprise. This one man band is clearly influenced by Wintersun, Ensiferum, etc. This demo is one of the best I heard this month, since it’s perfectly produced and the music is very fresh and enjoyable, too bad it only has 3 songs.
The guitars, bass and vocals are performed by the sole member, while the drums and everything else is programmed. The guitar work is excellent and it’s clearly the style of music this band is shooting for (Epic Melodic Metal). There are plenty of nice guitar solos that complement the music.
This 3 man band from Finland too me by surprise with this release. Having heard Marras and Sarastus before, I was expecting some relaxing folk music. These 2 albums can be compared to Empyrium’s last albums, but The Womb Of Primordial Nature clearly takes a different path. It’s more of a folk / ambient black metal album, and it’s great.
The album consists of 4 songs and they probably took a few weeks to come up with the title names (look it up and you’ll laugh about this).
Trollfest hails from Norway and they try to bring their Troll inspired folk metal to the masses. While the bands concept and website is quite funny, and the language of their lyrics is unique (since they mix several languages in them), the whole thing gets kind of old after the 3rd song.
While the music is not bad, it’s just annoying after a while. They try to sound like Fintroll but this sensation clearly fades off after a while.
I can see people enjoying this music when you are very drunk in the woods somewhere, since some of their songs have a great ‘folk drinking song’ atmosphere.