The calliope-like entrance to Atlas Pain’s Tales Of A Pathfinder (Scarlet Records) heralds the auspicious story that encompasses the journey of a lifetime. It’s a wonderful ride that reveals a new world and the pinnacle of the folk metal sound. In true folk metal sound, the sound is jaunty and evokes a visage of happy square dancing in a courtyard. From start to finish, Tales of a Pathfinder feels like what Hobbits and Dwarves having a party together would play for their guests. You get the sense that the mead is flowing generously and some sort of beast is being slow-cooked on a spit over an open flame.
Folk music has a pretty difficult time of it in the modern music scene. Despite being the foundation for almost all popular music genres, it is often considered cliche and archaic when held up against contemporary music, even though elements of the genre resonate throughout popular music. Whether it’s acoustic instrumentation or song structures which are the very backbone of popular music itself, the influence and fundamental importance of Folk music is downplayed or outright neglected. Continue reading
The brainchild of Winterfylleth guitarist Dan Capp, Wolcensmen actually predates his time in the Mancunian Black Metal outfit by some years, and is a Folk project dedicated to a time when This Sceptred Isle was unperturbed by religion and industry. Originally released in 2016, Songs From The Fyrgen (Indie Recordings) is a reissue of Dan’s first foray into full-length territory and is a stirring and emotive one. Continue reading
Korpiklaani’s tenth album Kulkija (Nuclear Blast) is the tale of a wanderer; “Kulkija” meaning, well, wanderer. I didn’t find this out until after I listened to the album. Learned something new! What isn’t new is the incredible musicianship of Korpiklaani and the compositional depth of their music. Kulkija showcases fourteen songs and spans an hour and twelve minutes where each song tells a tale of our illustrious wanderer and his life during his travels. It isn’t necessary to speak the Finnish language to enjoy Kulkija but I’m sure it adds an insightful layer to the album if you do. Continue reading
Taylor Momsen of The Pretty Reckless shared a video of her covering Woody Guthrie’s classic folk anthem ‘This Land Is Your Land’. Guthrie, known for his groundbreaking songwriting and social activism, covered countless times. ‘This Land Is Your Land’ was intended like most of Guthrie’s music, as a protest song. The accompanying video features photos taken by late producer Kato Khandwala, who passed away earlier in 2018 in a motorcycle accident. Khandwala has collaborated on every release by The Pretty Reckless as well as producing Blondie, Breaking Benjamin, Papa Roach, Drowning Pool, and Pierce The Veil. Continue reading
A project originally conceived to celebrate 2014’s bicentenary of the Norwegian Constitution, Skuggsjá – A Piece For Mind and Mirror (Season of Mist) was a collaborative record from Ivar Bjørnson of Enslaved, and Einar Selvik of Wardruna. After the success of that 2016 release, the pair rekindled their partnership and have now written follow-up piece Hugsjá (By Norse Music).
Over the course of an approximate thirty-year existence, Ireland’s Primordial have continually proven themselves to be a truly special entity in the world of metal. Very few artists evoke such powerful imagery; whether it being of mythology or the world closer to home, nor capture such vivid emotional range from desolation to the more uplifting whilst all the while feeling truly genuine. Their sound ranges from Black, Doom and more traditional Metal in a way that is truly their own and has seen them at the peak of their powers on the recent album run of Redemption At The Puritans Hand and Where Greater Men Have Fallen. Continue reading
It’s starting to feel like I’m repeating myself here, but “Cinematic Dark Ambient” specialists Cryo Chamber remain one of the most consistently engaging and accomplished in any genre, and one of their more interesting qualities is their themed collaborations between artists. For a Metal label these would likely be little more than indulgent acts of vanity, but Cryo Chamber’s collaborations are always among the most distinctive and evocative of their releases, the artists combining their disparate approaches to create a shared atmosphere, often based around a narrative or themed. Continue reading
In three short years, Danish singer-songwriter Amelie Bruun has already achieved what many fail to do across a lengthy career, and that is to create art that is interesting and distinctive. With Mareridt (Relapse Records), under the banner of her Myrkur project, she is releasing an album where there is genuine curiosity as to both how it will sound, but also whether she will be able to stride further into a more “mainstream” conscience (the use of the term mainstream being applied quite liberally here… this is unusual and uncompromising music, lest we forget). Continue reading
For you uninitiated, Alestorm is what us pirate loving, rum swilling, sing-a-long hullabalooers listen to. Their newest disk is No Grave But The Sea (Napalm). To be sure, there is some nifty metal and folk music happening here. Alestorm is fun and competent, and that’s a dangerous combination! No Grave But The Sea is Alestorm’s sixth full length album and, in fact, another winner in the pirate metal album genre. Continue reading