Sometimes you come across an album where the name of the artist alone is enough to peak your interest. Case in point: Folk Metal Jacket. I never could resist a good pun. Does it make for good music though? The flute setting should just be removed from keyboards altogether. Some instruments can be emulated by keyboards just fine, but flutes are not among them. The growl here sounds like Martin van Drunen forgot how to growl and also has a large marble lodged in his rectum. “Azathoth’s Call” has a cool riff where the fluteboard goes quick enough not to irritate, channeling some Equilibrium before going back to yokel-worthy banjos.
I’d say something is off about the songwriting on Eulogy for the Gentle Fools, but that would be saying this clusterfuck was written, and that its segments constitute songs. The compositions here are put together the way a blind dinosaur would put together a thesis on black hole relativity: it’s baffling, incomprehensible, and no one will ever figure out why it was attempted in the first place. Also, there’s the banjos, used whenever they should not be, in an overbearing fashion like a hillbilly that won’t leave you alone. Some people should not be allowed near a keyboard. Or a banjo. When you have a hammer, everything looks like it needs a banjo. Or a keyboard. A hammer sounds good right now, though.
Philosophical question: is it still avant-garde when all signs point to the music being a disjointed trainwreck due to ineptitude rather than a conscious decision by the performers? This is what happens when a Willie Nelson bluegrass cover band’s van slams headfirst into a house where Unexpect is having heroin-laced breakfast, but less fun. The clean vocals could have been worse, they could’ve made bank with a folk metal band that isn’t a vomit-soaked shit sandwich. Whenever something sounds good and I begin to enjoy myself, those goddamn banjos ruin everything, or the flute/accordion/violin/harpsichord settings on the keyboard. Did they cut up a jam session and paste it back together?
The mix has to take some of the blame, though. There’s so much going on, it’s like an ADD kid self-medicated with 12 cans of energy drink. The master is actually pretty good, and listening fatigue won’t be the reason you give up on listening to this album. The mix has to take some of the blame, though. It’s easier to keep track of a ping-pong ball in a tornado that’s passing over a ping-pong ball factory than it is to follow some of these songs. The mix agrees, and often forgets which instruments should be in the fore- or background. The only advice I can give is that the banjo should never be in the foreground, and the keyboard rarely. Apparently, the concept of a segue no longer exists.
Did this review confuse you and leave you slightly nauseated with vertigo? If so, good. That means you have had a taste of what listening to Eulogy is like. The musicians in Folk Metal Jacket are, aside from the growl, talented performers and dramatic songwriters, making all the wrong choices in instrument choice, composition and mixing, winding up with a confused, baffling and utterly inconsistent record. It somehow fails to surprise me these guys are from the same country as Dusius. Unlike that hysterically poor band though, Folk Metal Jacket failed to make me laugh, instead causing whiplash by going from misguided to cool to disastrous before you can say “I think I’m going to throw up.” Like cold diarrhea soup with chocolate chunks, there’s nuggets of excellence found sporadically across the album, but why would you ever go looking for them?