Winterhymn – Songs For The Slain

Songs For The Slain
Released: October 2011
Folk Metal

‘Songs For The Slain’ is the debut album from the American folk metal band Winterhymn.

The violin in the opening track ‘In the Troll Forest’ adds an interesting touch to what so far sounds and (judging from the band photos) looks like America’s answer to Ensiferum. The catchy, violin-infused folk metal continues with tracks like ‘Castle Kelly’ and the somewhat Irish/Waylander-esque sounding ‘Stand Your Ground’.

Then there’s the more sombre-sounding tracks like ‘Up From The Roots’ and ‘Witch’ in which the violin has a slightly melancholic feel to it. ‘Under the Hunter’s Moon’ reverts the emphasis back to the guitars making it more metal-sounding though, as always the violins and overall catchy melody ensure that the folk elements are never too far behind. The aptly named ‘Alesong’ features what sounds like a bunch of rowdy guys drinking at a canteen complete with the catchy accordion and violin combo making this akin to a bastard child of Eluveitie and Finntroll. Yes, this is definitely a drinking song or if you’ve had too much already you’re probably stomping along to the tune!

Other highlights include ‘Blood Eagle’ which combines the sombre violins with Amon Amarth -style guitars and vocals, and ‘The Berserker’s Curse’ which features a power metal-esque guitar solo towards the end.

4/5- Winterhymn, thanks for cheering me up on a rainy day!

Iza Raittila

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