Metsatöll – Ulg

Metsatöll
Ulg
Released: November 2011
Folk Metal
Released via Spinefarm Records

‘Ulg’ is the fifth album from the Estonian folk metallers Metsatöll. It is the follow-up to the 2010 album ‘Äio’ and the album title translates into English as ‘The Howl’. This is quite fitting, seeing as the name Metsatöll is allegedly an ancient Estonian term for wolf.

Don’t let the acoustic style of opening instrumental track ‘Agu’ fool you into thinking that the rest of the album is going to sound like this. ‘Sõjasüda’ is the first real metal track on here. As with all Metsatöll tracks, it features the band’s signature blend of drums and metal guitars along with traditional Estonian instruments such as the torupill (Estonian bag-pipe), ängipill and the mouth harp.

Then there’s the ultra catchy hunting anthem ‘Küü’, where the singing and the infectiously hypnotic flute and bag-pipe noises ensure that you won’t be able to forget this song anytime soon. I know this, because the chorus has been stuck in my head for the past few weeks! The happy folk metal tunes continue with ‘Muhu õud’ which reminds me a little of Skyforger and ‘Kivine maa’ which features some interesting chanting in the chorus.

The album also features a handful of slower, ballad tracks such as the acoustic ‘Eha’ which has this soothing, tranquil feel to it. Other noteworthy songs include the flute-infused ‘Tormilind’ and the somewhat more metal sounding title track ‘Ulg’.

4.5/5

Iza Raittila

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