|Review: Folkearth - A Nordic Poem|
|A Nordic Poem|
Label: Stygian Crypt Productions
Year released: 2004
Review online: February 13, 2007
Reviewed by: Lars Christiansen
for:A Nordic Poem
Rated 3.25/5 (65%) (8 Votes)
I hate the term 'super-group'. To me at least, it more often than not conjures images of musicians whom have garnered a mild reputation for themselves, whimsically teaming with their friends from other bands, who then while away from their main projects either feel the need to experiment wildly, or in contrast, pointlessly plough the same furrows as their main bands (albeit with less time and effort put in to the writing and recording due to various 'constraints' of their main bands). However, Folkearth is a completely different prospect I'm happy to say, even though on paper it may not seem so.
The difference here is that Folkearth is a truly impressive feat for the fact that quite so many metal and folk musicians have teamed up and taken part, from a wide range of different creeds, countries and bands (making the Folkearth moniker fit perfectly). Yes, Folkearth contains contributions from such luminaries as Forefather, Yggdrasil, Otyg and Broken Dagger amongst many others, and come across very much how you'd imagine a group containing these members to sound, that being very much in the Folk/Viking metal vein, sounding similar stylistically to a cross between Bathory, Forefather, Finntroll and the chuggier side of Einherjer, mixed in with some very Iron Maiden-esque guitar-work on a few occasions (especially noticeable on the track 'Wolfsong in the Moonlight' - if ever Maiden were to turn fully folk metal, this is the stuff they'd undoubtedly write!).
The music shows no sign of wanton 'super-group' noodling in the style of the aforementioned bands, instead Folkearth acts as a vehicle for raw passionate folk metal, naturally driving a blend tin whistles, uilleann pipe and bodhran into the stream of music, with chanting and uplifting melodic keyboards, all of which add texture and character to the overall ambience of the album. The lyrical focus seems to be aimed at the Nordic beliefs, although there are nods toward Celtic, Gaelic and Saxon styles weaved into the affluent fabric of the music, brimming with unconcealed European pride, with plethora of vocal styles due to the different vocalists displaying their talents (Wulfstan of Forefather deserves a special mention for his work as the sterling vocal emissary on the track 'Rhyming with Thunder').
Needless to say, if you're into this style of music, you should be salivating at the mere idea of an album of this magnitude, especially when the cream of the European underground folk metal scene have all done their part to make it what it is. As wholesome as the embrace of the cold morning mist, and as earthy as the soil our ancestors fought for, Folkearth should never be passed by.
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