Stormtide – Wrath of an Empire

Surprisingly alright. Not reinventing the wheel by any stretch of the imagination, but they got the epic aesthetic down pat on their first try. Band just needs any kind of variety and they’ll be turning out some pretty damn good albums. For now though, it was a bit of a difficult listen due to how samey it was. All the attempts to add flavor fell flat, most of the riffs sounded the same, folk elements blended too much with the generic symphonic ones. There’s potential, but Stormtide’s nowhere near there yet.


6/10

https://metalhellrecords.bandcamp.com/album/wrath-of-an-empire

Whispered – Metsutan: Songs of the Void

Yeah, a lot of this is campy as hell “naruto metal”. But there’s some good shit amongst all the forgettable tracks. Strike! is just fucking godly (as well as the music video), and Tsukiakari certainly holds it’s wait. And for an en epic finale, Bloodred Shores of Enoshima does the job as well as any other cheesy, nerd fantasy metal concept album I’ve ever heard does. I wouldn’t call this great, but if you can get past how “fake” the japanese folk elements sound at times, there’s some pretty damn great music here, with some Killer riffs when the band isn’t jerking off over it’s own theme.


7/10

Fejd – Trolldom

So originally when I was going to review this I was going to listen to just this album and review it on it’s own without the context of their other albums. This is standard practice for me, as I don’t know every band I review before reviewing them, and I only have so much time in the day to review things that I can’t listen to their whole discog before getting to their current album. However after I finished Trolldom, I couldn’t escape the fact that every possible complaint or even praise mentioned the lament over how Fejd finally “went metal”. Now I still could’ve just ignored that and gone on to review the album anyway, but quite honestly, the only thing I had to say about Trolldom was “it’s nice”. Nothing really profound, just that it was a pleasant listen that I enjoyed but couldn’t really say anything beyond that fact. So I decided that in an effort to have a more meaty review, I would listen to their debut album Storm, just so I get some context.

Unfortunately, despite my added context of where the band is coming from, my opinion stays relatively the same. I agree, they were in fact better when they weren’t a metal band, if only because I feel like they used a bit more of nordic folk influences in their music back then. It sounded a bit more organic than what they have now. However scorewise, that’s a different around .25 – .5 at MOST. The only real thing I can say about Trolldom is that it’s “nice”. And that’s mainly because it really is a gimmick album. You hear track 1, you’ve heard the whole album. Variety is absolutely non existent here, which isn’t exactly too bad as what you get is still really nice folk melodies and some pretty cool heavy metal-like guitar solos, but again that can only take an album so far.

I’ve decided mid reviewing this album that I’ll bump it up to a solid 7, mainly because despite only being just a nice listen (to which I normally give a high 6 for), the concept is pretty unique, and I feel like it’s worth listening to. Just don’t expect something that’ll blow your mind.


7/10

Moonsorrow – Jumalten aika

So I was going to be all mega contrarian and call this garbage and overrated and all that good stuff. I’ve never liked Moonsorrow. At their best they’re bland and forgettable, and at their worst they’re corny and overblown. I feel like on this album there is a lack of content, in that there’s lots of bombastic and loud atmosphere, but little progression or anything that doesn’t just feel generically large. Everyone is calling this epic but you can’t be epic if you never go anywhere. An epic in the traditional sense is a long story, so logically to be epic you have to have some sort of journey, or at least a sense of progression. That is not what’s on this album, opting to just go for what sounds as massive as possible, in order to overwhelm the listener into thinking the music is epic, when it’s really just completely unimaginative. And in the end I would probably give it somewhere in the 4 range, just to be an asshole. But if I’m being totally honest, I can’t help but think at least part of this record IS epic. It’s epic in a way that I don’t like, but it is epic, and I can’t help but feel a sense of awe at times. The first three tracks I feel don’t add anything, but Mimisbrunn and Ihmisen Aika are fantastic, even if I really don’t want them to be. Sure they’re just trying to be as huge as possible, but they absolutely fucking succeed in that goal. I can’t say this is my favorite record of the year, but I will say it’s not garbage like I was trying to argue it was initially.


6.75/10

Ivar Bjørnson & Einar Selvik’s Skuggsjá – Skuggsjá: A Piece for Mind & Mirror

It’s really not fair. Folk metal isn’t exactly my favorite genre but I absolutely have a massive bias to really authentic sounding folk metal. This doesn’t give me any sort of eargasm that i look for in the 9/10 ratings, but it’s just god damn solid and well made all around, as well as taking a concept and executing it to the highest degree possible, that I can’t not give this that score. This is some of the most well thought out, least cheesy folk metal I have ever heard. A must listen.


9/10

Myrath – Legacy

You know you’re in a special kind of hell when you want to like an album ironically and can’t because it’s actually good. This is the greatest arabic sporkcore album ever made. How is Believer not every person on the planet’s jam? And yes, I saw the music video, fuck you it’s amazing in a “so bad it’s good but no really it’s actually kinda good in a bad way” way. I just wish the album wasn’t one track long.


7.75/10