Archive for Tin whistle

Waylander – Kindred Spirits

Posted in Review with tags , , , , on 7th June 2012 by Nico Davidson

Waylander
Kindred Spirits
To Be Released: 16th July
Folk Metal/Celtic Metal
Released via Listenable Records

Waylander have been influencing and pillaging the folk metal scene since their formation in 1993. The last 19 years has seen the band release two demos and three albums, with the fourth album, Kindred Spirits, to be released in July (unless you’re unlucky enough to be living in North America, then you’re waiting until August).

The album kicks off with Echoes of the Sidhe, which has an appealing introduction, being composed of melodic tin whistles and snarling guitar riffs. The vocals are astringent and unrelenting, adding to the vicious sound of the guitars and drums while the flute medleys add a more harmonious effect to the song. The guitar solo and the folky section that follow have a very defined, august sound. Lámh Dearg begins with a beautifully played acoustic section before the roaring guitar riffs make themselves heard. The acoustic sections are quite dominant throughout the song, creating a unique sound with the more heavier sections of the song and the harsh vocal work. Some of the melodic licks and riffs are pleasant to hear, giving the song a very varied sound. Twin Fires of Beltine begins sounding like a semi-heavy power metal anthem with Celtic influences. Compared to the last two tracks, Twin Fires is relatively more laid back, portraying more of a Celtic hard rock sound than a folk metal sound. The melodic use of tin whistles add a certain beauty to the song whilst the cleaner vocals in the chorus add some folky flavouring to the track. The most interesting part of the track is the combination of narration and an instrument I can’t quite recognise.

Of Fear And Fire teases the listener with a slow and dark acoustic passage before the menacing and fierce riffs echo through the speakers. The first vocal passage sounds like an early Gorgoroth before taking on the death metal guise. The tin whistles blend in majestically with everything else in the track. Grave of Giants bewitchingly soothing melody whilst the monologue speaks of beautiful landscapes and untainted rivers, far from the “over-populated, polluted and so-called civilised” cities. The following track, A Path Well Trodden, changes the pace and sound rom the last track into something more hostile and warlike yet alluring and statuesque at the same time, however, the tin whistles are the one part that really do stick out in this magnificent painting of sounds. The album steps up a few levels with the heaviness in the form of Quest for Immortality, a song that utilises a staunch use of both harsh and clean vocals with a charming use of tin whistles and barbaric drum patterns. The guitars combine a near-perfect use of melody and aggression that dances well with the tin whistles.

The haunting sound of Erdath gently rings out next, complete with almost-choir like vocals and a dark atmosphere, before the sudden transformation into a raging beast of double bass drums, energetic riffs and thunderous vocals. Of course, the track is full of aggression and speed as there is a section in the second half where it remains heavy but is relatively slower and gloomier, much like a doom metal track. The album ends with the title track, Kindred Spirits, which begins with an alluring tin whistle medley before the assault of guitars and drums begin. The vocals sound raw and much more harsh than on the other tracks, which I think really does add to the sound of the song. The tin whistles add the beauty to the beast that are the guitars and vocals, making the song harmonious yet chaotic – In the good sense of course. Kindred Spirits really is the stand out track of the album.

After listening to the album, I see why Waylander are an influential band. I’ve never really listened to the band before so Kindred Spirits was something new for me and it definitely displays Waylander’s sound perfectly. Everything just seemed to fit together in the album to create a folkin’ masterpiece and Celtic goodness.

5/5

Nico Davidson

Avven – Kastalija

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , on 25th May 2012 by izaforestspirit

Avven
Kastalija
Released: April 2011
Folk Metal
Self-released

‘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.

3.5/5

Iza Raittila