Folk Metal

Dark Forest – Oak, Ash & Thorn Review

Dark Forest – Oak, Ash & Thorn Review

“U.K.’s Dark Forest has been cranking out high quality music since 2009, with a very interesting blend of Euro-power, traditional heavy metal and just enough folk elements to give them a slightly unique sound. Albums like The Awakening and 2016s Beyond the Veil were very good, teetering on the cusp of greatness, borrowing from NWoBHM legends like Iron Maiden while also dipping into the slick songcraft of Avantasia and prime Sonata Arctica. Their compositional and storytelling acumen improved with each release and I just knew they had a truly big release in them dying to burst free.” Really good wood.

At the Altar of the Horned God – Through Doors of Moonlight Review

At the Altar of the Horned God – Through Doors of Moonlight Review

“Seriously. Shut. The. Fuck. Up. Like ‘pagan’ wasn’t already a bad word to most of the Christian population. Now it’s a bad word for Christian-hating metalheads. Unfortunately, the folky, melodic, and, at times, quite beautiful qualities of the genre veil the National Socialist squabble from many-a anti-Semitic band and label. Which, for someone that loves this style of music, is frustrating as hell. Many writers—not only of this website—won’t touch the stuff. Though plenty of writers skip over one-man black metal outfits because there’s a bajillion of them—all blurring together in one chaotic sound after another—’pagan black metal’ bands get tagged and placed in a cold locker. Not a band name mentioned. Not even out of spite. But, neither I nor Spain’s At the Altar of the Horned God will let these motherfuckers spoil a good time.” Nazis bad, pagans good.

Hexvessel – Kindred Review

Hexvessel – Kindred Review

“Finnish forest folk band Hexvessel‘s music conjures images of druids and deep, misty woods, and I’ve been a fan since Steel covered No Holier Temple. I love this sort of mystical folk-influenced music, a genre my partner describes as “witchy music.” Right after I wrote about All Tree, I saw them play an enchanting show in an incense-steeped church in London. And now, of course, we’re all stuck in quarantine and unable to actually go wander in the woods. You’d think, then, that I should be excited for another album.” Forest fever.

Malokarpatan – Krupinské ohne Review

Malokarpatan – Krupinské ohne Review

“No matter who you are or where you live, everyone is being asked to stay home from a job that they may not get to come back to. Or… living it up with their family in a mansion whose walls sport the fashionable 2020 Vintage Toilet Tissue Wallpaper. Then there’re others of us that push on like nothing is happening. Regardless of your dilemma, this shit has come out of nowhere and I-just-went-in-for-eggs-and-left-after-four-hours-because-only-ten-people-were-allowed-into-the-store-at-one-time is a thing. Everyone’s upset and no one knows what’s gonna happen next. Funny enough, that’s the perfect attitude to have for Malokarpatan‘s newest masterpiece, Krupinské ohne.”

Aeternam – Al Qassam Review

Aeternam – Al Qassam Review

“Our overlord’s prolonged stay in the dark dungeons of higher education has yielded mostly secondhand stress and delayed Record o’ the Month articles for Angry Metal Guy Himself. But in my case, it has now resulted in not one but two offers to review the great Aeternam, one of the very best when it comes to MENA-folk influenced metal.” Storm in the sands.

Faustian Pact – Outojen Tornien Varjoissa Review

Faustian Pact – Outojen Tornien Varjoissa Review

“There’s something intriguing about black metal. While its origins are saturated with violence and its imagery is so defiantly anti-status quo, it’s calmed down significantly over the last decade or so. With more accessible styles like folk and post-rock taking more of a prominent role, it can be difficult to find the trve kvlt style that once circulated the underground in whispered rumors.” Dirty deals.

Canis Dirus – Independence to the Beast Review

Canis Dirus – Independence to the Beast Review

“Our sharky hero runs, surgically-repaired legs pumping, swag clutched to his chest. He doesn’t look back. He doesn’t need to. He knows what’s chasing him: a velveteen puppet and a number that is two times six. Eventually, lungs heaving, he sinks down behind a dumpster to study his haul… This, dear reader, is a more a less accurate depiction of what it takes to successfully smuggle something tagged as ‘black folk metal’ out of the promo sump and how I come to be reviewing Minnesotan duo Canis Dirus‘ third full-length, Independence to the Beast.” Free beasts and folk thieves.

Dzö-nga – Thunder in the Mountains Review

Dzö-nga – Thunder in the Mountains Review

“We all have those times where we look back and say to ourselves ‘what was I thinking?’ That’s kind of how I feel about reviewing Dzö-nga‘s second album, The Sachem’s Tales, back in 2017. Today, a folky atmospheric black metal album with classical influences seems so far out of my wheelhouse that it’s not even in the same hemisphere. Yet, I did enjoy my share of Agalloch and Cascadian black metal back in the day, and as such, I was able to appreciate Tales as an inspired and engrossing piece of woodsy black metal with intriguing Native American themes. Led by vocalist and guitarist Cryvas, this Boston project has now returned with another opus, this time based on H.W. Longfellow’s epic poem ‘The Song of Hiawatha.'” Spirits of nature.

Marrasmieli – Between Land and Sky Review

Marrasmieli – Between Land and Sky Review

“At any given time, it’s a safe bet that I’m craving new atmospheric black metal. Take your blackest metal impulses, turn down the fury and turn up the melodies, and I’m probably a happy fan! I enjoy black metal a lot, but tend to prefer less angry and more melody in the style. So seeing Marrasmieli and their debut album, Between Land and Sky labelled as “folk/black metal” in the Promo Pit was plenty good enough for me.” Black lite.

殞煞 Vengeful Spectre –  殞煞 Vengeful Spectre Review

殞煞 Vengeful Spectre – 殞煞 Vengeful Spectre Review

“‘I’ll have to wait,’ says the little voice in my head, ‘until that winter wonderland of Things You Might Have Missed returns at the end of the year.’ Well, it’s fucking January, and I’m not waiting another gotdamn picosecond. I have an album with which you should get yourselves familiar all quick-like, because it’s my favorite release this month.” Patience is for wimps.