Folk Metal

Elvenking – Reader of the Runes – Divination Review

Elvenking – Reader of the Runes – Divination Review

“While checking out a music video for one of the lead singles to Elvenking‘s latest record, Reader of the Runes – Divination, I stumbled across a comment that deeply resonated with me. To paraphrase: “This is pretty good, but I still feel like a Pagan Manifesto widow.” It’s rare for a band to drop their best album seventeen years and eight LPs in their career, but 2014’s The Pagan Manifesto was precisely that.” Everything’s runed.

Manntra – Oyka! Review

Manntra – Oyka! Review

“Why do people listen to folk metal? For that matter, why do I listen to folk metal? There are many plausible answers to this strangest of questions, beginning with “power metal and Vikings are a great combination,” and spanning all the way to “flutes are cool, man.” Truthfully, I think “folk metal” is too broad a term. When I first stumbled across Okya!, the fourth full-length from Croatian folk metal band Manntra, I was intrigued by the “folk metal” tag the band carried, but also brought with me the usual trepidation of not really knowing what to expect. Ensiferum folk metal and Eluveitie folk metal are, after all, very different metals, but both fall under the same basic tag.” A jig in a folk.

Falls of Rauros – Patterns in Mythology Review

Falls of Rauros – Patterns in Mythology Review

“A wild Muppet appears! Maine is about as renowned for its black metal as it is for anything else that isn’t lobsters, blueberries, or Stephen King, and I’ll be damned if I’m gonna trust my homelands trvest export alone with Arizonan Ne’er-do-well Grier; I’m worried that his review isn’t biased enough, yo. There’s also the tiniest, itsiest little bit ov a possibility that alcohol and boredom coaxed me into challenging the Assumed Non-doctrinaire to a medieval weapons duel for the reviewing rights.” Fight for the Falls.

Tanzwut – Seemannsgarn Review

Tanzwut – Seemannsgarn Review

“So there I am, minding my own business, taking a casual stroll through the Angry Metal Promo Pit when a certain Tanzwut catches my eye. There’s the name, of course, but more importantly, the tagline: “medieval rock,” they use to describe themselves. Now, the last time I heard “medieval” applied to a style of metal, the album was The End is Nigh, the band was Apocalypse Orchestra, and my Album o’ the Year was thus. So if you tell me you play “medieval rock” and you have two bagpipers in your band, well, what can I say? I’m in.” Bag men.

L’Acéphale – L’Acéphale Review

L’Acéphale – L’Acéphale Review

“Twenty-nineteen has, so far, been an interesting year for metal. Not including the fact that the infamous Lords of Chaos has finally hit the big screen. And it seems to be the catalyst for some interesting current events. Events brought on by weirdos that wish they were 1) Norwegian and 2) friends with Count Grishnakh. Churches of all denominations have been going up in flames around the world and one can only wonder how far this will go. Hell, as of this writing, the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris has gone up in smoke. And one can only wonder, with the nonstop success of the French scene, who is responsible.” Burning times.

Istapp – The Insidious Star Review

Istapp – The Insidious Star Review

“‘You guys remember Istapp?’ asked the Head Honcho Himself, as he shared the news of an upcoming release. Not to mention “I väntan på den absoluta nollpunkten,” from debut record Blekinge. A song from a record as novel as any the black/folk/Viking metal world has ever known. So much so that you’d guess these Swedes have been around since the beginning of time. Perhaps as a black metal outfit that morphed into a melodic, folky one? Or a group that invented the subgenre, releasing their first album before the almighty Bathory and his Viking trilogy? But, it turns out, the untouchable Blekinge is shy of only nine years of age.” Star power.

Atlas Pain – Tales of a Pathfinder Review

Atlas Pain – Tales of a Pathfinder Review

“2017 brought with it many things. Chief among them was the debut record by Italy’s Atlas Pain. Featuring speedy, bombastic folk metal, it was enjoyable and stuck with me more than its 3.0 may suggest. The passing of two years has brought a sophomore release called Tales of a Pathfinder at a make-or-break stage in any band’s career. Atlas Pain have approached this challenge with all the bright colors, zany attitude and symphonic trimmings which I enjoyed on the first go around and I’m delighted to write that their Italian charm has not been lost.” Can’t let it go.

Eluveitie – Ategnatos Review

Eluveitie – Ategnatos Review

“Taking in Eluveitie‘s closing performance on 70K Tons with sentynel, I recognized something: Eluveitie is popular. Not like entry-level popular, not poser popular (well, maybe), but actually popular. The boat’s Mosh Pit Residentia showed up in spades for that set, but with the floor so choked with the trve and weeb alike, group activities like conga lines and dance parties sprung up instead. Everyone knew the songs—hell, I knew the songs. The nonet put on too great a show to discount, far better than other bias-confirming trainwrecks I witnessed that weekend. Maybe, just maybe, I’ve written Eluveitie and Ategnatos off too soon.” Then again…