With a few central members of the band leaving, we were quite curious to see how Eluveitie would move forward. It is safe to say that with “Evocation II – Pantheon” the band continues its well-defined path with another brilliant release filled with memorable moments and catchy songs. Not losing a step, this release delivers over 50-minutes of intoxicatingly catchy Folk/Melodic Metal music that will appeal to any fan of the band and the genre.
As a continuation of their 2009 release, “Evocation I - The Arcane Dominion”, this album kicks off with “Dvressu” by showcasing the talents of new vocalist: Fabienne Erni. Replacing the talented Anna Murphy seemed like a nearly impossible, but the band has done a great job as we can hear in the very upbeat “Epona”. This track has the band’s signature style of delivering lush arrangements and catchy song foundations.
Only a few bands manage to write a follow-up to a legendary album and succeed at it. Today we have Vintersorg blowing people away with their follow-up of the seminal “Till fjälls”. In this double release, the band unleashes over 75 minutes of classic Vintersorg music that will never leave your record player for the remainder of the year (possibly a few years). Going back to the basics, this is one release you can’t miss.
The album sets the tone with the intense opener “Jökelväktaren”, filled with soaring vocal arrangements and uber catchy guitar work, this perfectly sets the mood for what is to come. For any fan of Vintersorg, the brilliant combination of epic clean vocals and harsh vocals is one of the best features of their releases, particularly in epic tracks like “En väldig isvidds karga dräkt” and the crushing “Fjällets mäktiga mur”.
Formed by ex-Eluveitie members: Anna Murphy, Merlin Sutter and Ivo Henzi, Cellar Darling perfectly combines Folk elements with Metal and Rock to create a very lively and unique sound that will captivate audiences. Led by the charismatic vocals of Anna Murphy, this release delivers 14 tracks of superbly catchy and engaging music that will stick in your head long after you stop listening to it.
Opening with the killer “Avalanche”, this track features one of the catchiest chorus sections of 2017. The band keeps minor Eluveitie influences with their folk elements, but they focus on making killer vocal melodies and playful instrumentations that perfectly define their own identity, as we can hear on tracks like “Black Moon”, the brilliant “Challenge”, and the hard rocking “Hullabaloo”.
Originally released back in 2012, Panopticon’s “Kentucky” is the band’s seminal release in which they mix both Black Metal and Folk/Americana/Bluegrass elements in a brilliant way. Just as when it was originally released, this release will certainly catch a new wave of people by surprise as the genres are not intuitively easily combined. Multi-instrumentalist Austin L. Lunn certainly pulled of one of the most unique releases of all times, and this is you latest chance to get a copy of it.
The album instantly raises eyebrows with the Folky/Americana-inspired “Bernheim Forest in Spring” as it leads into the explosive and very aggressive “Bodies Under the Falls”. With this transition we are back into more familiar territories with harsh vocals, punishing riffs and tight drums. This track masterfully weaves back and forth between heavy passages and lush banjo-led sections that work perfectly with the flow of the song.
Everybody’s favorite pirates are finally back with yet another release filled with tales of their wanderings at sea. With “No Grave but the Sea” the band’s party atmosphere is untouched and they continue exactly where they left off. With over 45 minutes of music, the band showcases their maturity with tracks that go directly to the point while keeping intact all the elements that make people love them.
Opening with the album title track, Christopher Bowes signature pirate singing leads the way into this very cheerful song. Filled with funky keyboards and a lively pace, this track is the perfect onboarding piece for this Alestorm journey. The album’s first single comes under the name of “Mexico”, a track detailing the band’s debaucherous efforts in this country. As you can expect this track features soaring vocal arrangements and a killer chorus section that will be stuck in your head for days.
Hailing from France, today we have Folk/Death Metal outfit Drakwald and their sophomore full-length release “Riven Earth”. Showing that France also has representatives on the Folk Metal scene, this release delivers 44 minutes of engaging music that will have you headbanging from start to end.
Not wasting much time to showcase their power, “Doomsday Argument” shows the band with full strength sounding like a mixture of Amon Amarth and Eluveitie. As tracks like “Erase by Fire”, “Primal Dawn” and “Rebrith” roll through, we can hear that the comparisons can be skewed more towards Eluveitie as the band’s bagpipes and flutes make them gravitate in to this territory.
While people hated on Ensiferum for their 2012 release “Unsung Heroes”, we actually quite enjoyed it. The band has evolved from their “Iron” and “From Afar” days, but the still deliver high-quality Folk Metal filled with epicly catchy tracks. Featuring 11 songs and around 53 minutes of music, this album is another very enjoyable entry in the band’s career and will surely recapture some of the band’s lost fans.
After being buttered up by the catchy “March of War”, the band goes all out with the epic “Axes of Judgment”. Here we get the traditional riffing and tempo expected from a release of this genre, and we have to admit that Janne Parviainen’s drumming really got us going on this very typical track. “Heathen Horde” is a track that is more our pace due to its catchy melodic tempo and the well-crafted vocal arrangements. Things continue to be epic with the dramatic “One Man Army”, a song that will make drop everything you are doing and start headbanging from start to finish.
Borrowing from bands like Moonsorrow, Wintersun, Eluveitie, Vintersorg and even some Borknagar, today we have Germany’s Finsterforst and their fairly decent Folk Metal. Having seven members amongst their ranks, this band delivers an authentic feeling without overdoing it on the Folk elements.
Opening with the catchy “Schicksals End, the band nicely builds momentum and keeps the listener pretty entertained for the nearly 15-minute duration of this track. While the length of the song is unconventional for the genre, the band drives it home with solid riffs, tight drumming and a very crisp production that highlights all different vocals and atmospheric elements. The band keeps their groove with another engaging song with “Zeit für Hass” and its battle-like stance.
Expertly crafted, “Where Greater Men Have Fallen” continues the legacy of Primordial and their unique Celtic infused Folk Metal. Delivering 58 minutes of engaging tracks that need to gimmicks to appeal to the listener, the band does a great job in keeping their sound and legacy intact with a very high quality release. Any fan of the band will be greatly pleased by this album that brings us some memories of the band’s epic: “Spirit the Earth Aflame”.
The head banging session starts early with the crushing opening of the album’s title track, we love how Primordial has always managed to deliver Folky sounding music with heavy riffs and not a plethora of bagpipes and similar elements. A.A. Nemtheanga’s vocals gracefully lead the band’s musical onslaught with great vocal melodies that perfectly fit the mood of the songs. Make no mistake, there are plenty of heavy sections for the fans that like the harsher side of the band, as we can see on tracks like “Babel’s Tower” and “The Seed of Tyrants”, as well as sprinkled around in between epic melodic passages.
With a thunderous release, today we have Eluveitie and their premier Folk Metal in the shape of “Origins”. Featuring over 55 minutes of music, the band further develops their sound while retaining their signature instrumentation in 16 action filled tracks. With no signs of slowing down after the departure of their longtime violinist Meri Tadic, the band delivers one of their finest releases to date.
Quickly exploding into action with “The Nameless” after their intro track, the band delivers a catchy Folk tune filled with Bagpipes and contrasting crushing guitars. The band’s catchy atmosphere is nicely implanted in epic tracks like “From Darkness”, “Celtos”, and the melodramatic “Virunus”, a personal favorite of us. Chrigel’s vocals are as good as ever and his mastery of instruments like Mandolin, Ulieann pipes, etc. really put the band above all others that rely on computer generated instrumentations to fill their sound.