Released: April 2011
‘Kastalija’ is the second album from the Slovenian folk metal band Avven. According to a statement by the band their name is derived from the Welsh term ‘awen’ meaning “inspiration”.
From the start of the intro of the opening track ‘Zmaji’ the music shows its true colors as Slavic folk metal akin to the likes of Nomans Land. Avven like to sing in their native tongue and this along with the combination of metal and traditional folk instruments such as the tin whistle and the flute definitely work towards their advantage. This is seriously catchy stuff!
‘Ros’ features a female singer which gives a somewhat softer touch to the music in contrast to the main, male vocals. The violins also make the song stand out for all the right reasons. There’s something really uplifting about this particular track which tempts to try and sing along. ‘Nuala’ is slower and more sombre in nature but the cello, violin melodic duet between male and female singer makes it worth a listen.
Other noteworthy tracks include: the accordion-infused, catchy folk metal tracks ‘Ibo’ and ‘Hej ti!'; two definite crowd-pleasers and festival hits, and ‘Tarak’ which reminds me of Sabaton due to the song structure and the vocal style with a hint of Alestorm as a result of the violin parts. The only disappointment on here is the final track ‘Tornach’ which seems a bit disjointed at times as though it was compiled of bits from earlier recordings.
- Avven – Kastalija (valkyrianmusic.com)
- Nidhoeggr – Heidenlaerm (demo) (valkyrianmusic.com)
- Arkona – Slovo (valkyrianmusic.com)
- Vogelfrey – Zwolfe Schritte Zum Strick (valkyrianmusic.com)
- Alestorm ready to set sail with Dragonforce (valkyrianmusic.com)
- Skyforger Set To Raise The Warhorns (valkyrianmusic.com)
- Skalmold – Baldur (valkyrianmusic.com)