Folk Metal

Windfaerer – Breaths of Elder Dawns [Things You Might Have Missed 2021]

Windfaerer – Breaths of Elder Dawns [Things You Might Have Missed 2021]

“It is often difficult for me to know where to begin when writing about a record that resonates with me as deeply as Breaths of Elder Dawns. New Jersey’s Windfaerer swept me up so swiftly that I cannot even recall where I was first made aware of this record; the experience of listening to the album completely swallowed me.” Enjoy of deep breaths.

Dead Space Chamber Music – The Black Hours Review

Dead Space Chamber Music – The Black Hours Review

“A doom band emerges from the hills of Southwest England. So does a dark neoclassical outfit, along with a group of ambient specialists dedicated to building sound collages… oh, and a neofolk collective is there, too. They’re not going to do battle, as metal as that might be—they can’t, because they’re all the same unit. Dead Space Chamber Music channels their restless muse into The Black Hours, an ambitious fusion of techniques that spends much of its run time reinterpreting material from the medieval and Renaissance periods.” Chamber of horrors.

Negură Bunget – Zău Review

Negură Bunget – Zău Review

“The November 26 release cycle brings us a couple of albums by bands we wouldn’t have expected to hear from; Cynic and Negură Bunget. While Kronos will be filling our heads with his thoughts on the former, the latter falls to me. Not because I am a world-renowned black metal aficionado, but rather because I reviewed the latest (truly excellent) release from Dordeduh, and it is natural to draw some comparisons. Following the tragic death of drummer/band leader Gabriel “Negru” Mafa back in 2017, one would assume that was the end of the band. But Negru had completed a number of drum tracks for the final album in the band’s trilogy, and after a period of mourning the remaining band members took up the mantle and fleshed out the songs, and now they present the final chapter in the band’s canon, Zău.” End of the misty road.

Alda – A Distant Fire Review

Alda – A Distant Fire Review

“How was I supposed to pass on that album cover? Gorgeous, gorgeous stuff. That the associated album was labelled as “blackened folk metal”—or “atmospheric black metal” on the trusty Encyclopaedia—was icing on the cake, but really, I was drawn in by the album art. A Distant Fire is the fourth full-length release from the American Alda, which I’m told means “tree” in a language invented by J.R.R. Tolkien.” Tree aggressive.

Siren’s Rain – Rise Forth Review

Siren’s Rain – Rise Forth Review

“Sometimes, the cover of an album is meaningless, you know, just a cliched picture of a skull or zombie or something to adorn the record sleeve. Sometimes, however, the artwork can tell you a lot, both about what to expect from a record and about the band behind it, which presumably signed off—or in a few cases even designed—the artwork in question. In the case of Tacoma, Washington’s Siren’s Rain and their self-released debut album, Rise Forth, the artwork triggered an all too familiar sinking feeling.” Graphic displays.

Paydretz – Chroniques de l’Insurrection Review

Paydretz – Chroniques de l’Insurrection Review

“If there’s something that black metal bands have been flocking to lately, besides corpse paint and hooded sweatshirts, it’s war. Over the last decade, the genre’s been scouring both World Wars to the point of picking at scraps. Scant few, if any, even bothered to turn their eyes to battles of centuries past, especially when it comes to the French Revolution or, more specifically, the War in the Vendée. A counter-revolution that lasted approximately three years and resulted in the slaughter of countless men, women, and children, the War in the Vendée remains an oft-overlooked bloodbath, save for the occasional historical film or two. Today, French supergroup Paydretz brings this historic tale to light on their debut, Chroniques de l’Insurrection.” Obscure French military history and metal.

Felled – The Intimate Earth Review

Felled – The Intimate Earth Review

Felled approach black metal differently than many. There’s a lot of mournful folk imbued within these sonic landscapes, thanks to a lead violin which takes center stage as often as, if not more often than, the lead guitars. Dour atmosphere grips with a cold, unforgiving hand and drags you across snowy tundra, no thought given to your ability to weather the journey. All that matters is that the melodies and moods cut through your thin flesh-wrapper and find a home deep inside your marrow.” Intimate despair.

Dordeduh – Har Review

Dordeduh – Har Review

“Until a few months ago I was only peripherally aware of Dordeduh. I had heard their debut album, 2012’s Dar de duh, and thought it was “good” but not really worth revisiting. Similarly, I was aware of the apparent amazingness of Om, Negură Bunget’s 2006 opus, in which Edmond “Huppogrammos” Karban and Cristian “Sol Faur” Popescu played a pivotal role. While that album was stunning in scope, the black metal production values turned me off. Potential, yes: essential, no. Fast forward to 2021, and on a whim I clicked on the first track released from Har, entitled “Descânt.” It was then that I knew I had to not only hear this album, but bring it forth to the Angry Metal Guy faithful.” From Romania with love.

Subterranean Masquerade – Mountain Fever Review

Subterranean Masquerade – Mountain Fever Review

“Let me preface this review with a bite-size Contrite Metal Guy: I overrated Subterranean Masquerade‘s last album, Vagabond, by half a point. While it’s still a damn cool album, with a great sense of adventure and exploration, it was also a bit unfocused and unbalanced, a shortcoming of which I failed to make note at the time. Alas, I am only human, and as the first underground band I discovered all on my own back in 2005, this band has a special place in my heart.” Cave raves.