Folk Metal

The Privateer – Kingdom of Exiles Review

The Privateer – Kingdom of Exiles Review

“I am generally a defender of themed metal. If Viking metal is considered a valid genre, then so should pirate metal. It’s just a shame that the latter is spearheaded by a band (which shall remain unnamed) that has gone from a mixture of comedy and epic to full meme-lord. It has cost the entire genre in legitimacy, and it now seems as if pirates can be nothing but silly cartoons. The Privateer stages a mutiny on that school of thought, however, aiming for a return to the adventurous and dramatic seafaring tales of yore.” Booty raiding.

Trollfest – Flamingo Overlord [Things You Might Have Missed 2022]

Trollfest – Flamingo Overlord [Things You Might Have Missed 2022]

At its root, Trollfest’s sound combines the “huumpa and the beast” formula popularized by Finntroll with the diverse musical influences and a willingness to expand into whatever style feels fun at the moment from DSO. But unlike aforementioned artsy (and potentially fartsy) Swedes, Trollfest pretty much sings about their collective alcohol problem (like Korpiklaani). And honestly, every time I listen to a new Trollfest album I ask myself the same question: “Why don’t I listen to these guys more?”

Aeternam – Heir of the Rising Sun Review

Aeternam – Heir of the Rising Sun Review

“Ah, Aeternam. Ever since a rush order on their third album, Ruins of Empires, was foisted upon me early in my career as an Angry Metal Serf, the Canadians have become a reliable mainstay in the world of MENA-infused death metal. Ever armed with grit, heft and rock-solid songwriting, any release from this band has been cause for celebration. With Heir of the Rising Sun, we’ve reached album number 5 since the band’s inception in 2007.” Putting on heirs.

postcards from new zealand – Nin-an-ak Review

postcards from new zealand – Nin-an-ak Review

“What does New Zealand have to do with Ancient Sumeria? Not a damn thing, but then again, the Brits didn’t play much of a role in the conquests of Alexander the Great and no one batted an eye when Maiden wrote a track about him. So the subject of choice for Nin-an-ak, an ancient Sumerian goddess of kink and war, doesn’t require much justification. Not as much as the name postcards from new zealand, anyway, nor their preference for not using capitals. And definitely not as much as the genre this promo came tagged with: post-sumerian-chamber-death-prog-core.” Dead tongues, dead letters.

Saor – Origins Review

Saor – Origins Review

“We’re now a decade into Andy Marshall’s uniquely Scottish take on metal, blending furious black metal with majestic melodies and Scottish folk instrumentation. Saor is an experiment which has demonstrated great results, with the likes of Aura and Guardians being some of the strongest folk/black metal albums of the 2010s. 2019’s Forgotten Paths was solid but easily my least favorite release, but with a new decade comes a new record called Origins. Is it a return to Saor’s roots, or does it represent a new beginning?” Roots, icy roots.

Theigns & Thralls – Theigns & Thralls Review

Theigns & Thralls – Theigns & Thralls Review

Theigns & Thralls—incidentally, very much how AMG Industries’ editors regard their relationship with the rest of the writing staff—is the brainchild of Skyclad vocalist Kevin Ridley. Formed originally as an outlet for some of Ridley’s back catalog and other material, it quickly mutated into something much more as the pandemic put an end to Skyclad’s touring plans. Seemingly formed of five principal members, Theigns & Thralls’ eponymous debut features contributions from some twenty-five musicians.” Many fingers, small pie.

Svartsot – Kumbl Review

Svartsot – Kumbl Review

“What should be said of the workhorses? The acts that caught your ear once and never let go? Not the kings of the mountain, no, but perennially at least at base camp. Like your dad used to say, the world needs 2.75-rated records too. Svartsot surmounted the folk metal summit but once with their 2007 debut Ravnenes Saga; their three shots at the top since have fallen well shy of that peak. Still, their thick-axed folkery scratches a certain itch, and given the Danes’ obligation to their sound, there’s little chance their fifth album, Kumbl, will be a disaster. There’s also little chance it’ll be a hit.” Ready to Kumbl.

Pillaging Villagers – Pillaging Villagers Review

Pillaging Villagers – Pillaging Villagers Review

“The metal scene has, for the last decade or so, been relatively stagnant in its progression. Though the genre thrives, large scale innovation has stalled. Deafheaven’s Sunbather and the rise of djent and argent metal have made a sizable impact, but otherwise the genre looks much the same now as it did a decade ago. But evolution doesn’t need to result in revolution; it can be a small scale experiment that thrives on novelty, executed with a bold, focused vision. Something like, I dunno, the death-y and melodic thrash metal of Necropanther mashed up with the drunken joy of Dropkick Murphys. And that’s exactly what Pillaging Villagers is.” It takes a pillage…

Véhémence – Ordalies Review

Véhémence – Ordalies Review

“When last Véhémence appeared around these parts, they were an unexpected discovery I made—with some much-appreciated help—at the end of 2019. Par le sang versé was a gem of a release, with all the right black metal bits, just enough folk bits, and an awesome medieval vibe that set it apart from its contemporaries. So you can imagine my thrill when I learned that the French group had actually read that article and that I’d get to review their third full-length release, Ordalies.” Getting medieval on your arse.