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Review: Hand of Kalliach - Samhainn
Hand of Kalliach

Label: Independent
Year released: 2021
Duration: 41:58
Tracks: 10
Genre: Folk Metal

Rating: 3.75/5

Review online: November 9, 2021
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating

Rated 3.5/5 (70%) (2 Votes)

This is the debut from Scottish duo Hand of Kalliach (A reference to Cailleach, a Celtic hag-goddess and sky-mother figure from myth). Usually, Folk Metal albums are more than a bit split, with the hard and heavy having to coexist with the traditional instruments and more melodic folk sounds. The judgment is in how well they mix and match the two styles, as it is not always easy to do well.

Hand of Kalliach do pretty well, as both the sides of their sound are pretty well done. Female singer Sophie Fraser provides a sweet, rather delicate sound, while her husband John does the harsh vocals. The sides don't really complement each other, but they don't fight. The melodic parts are haunting and moody, while the aggressive metal parts are heavy enough, if not really groundbreaking. The best parts are where they have Sophie do her smooth crooning over the hammering rhythm guitars, as that's a sound that has not been done to death and sounds much more individual. Hand of Kalliach are doing what they do pretty well, but I think they can get better.

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