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When I was first getting into Viking/folk/Pagan metal, I had heard this band, and Ensiferum. Many people I talked to said they preferred this worthless band to the mighty Ensiferum. This is simply beyond my comprehension. Why? - this is why ...
The first seconds of this disc start off promising enough. Slightly generic, but energetic and melodic. But with every moment, it becomes increasingly apparent this album is not what it is labeled as. Both in terms of style and how highly praised this band is.
Everything I heard about this band is complete hyperbole. Not only is this music generic, weak, vapid and clearly "trying too hard", but it's hardly folk or power metal. It's really closer to an emo band with a violin.
The choruses are gang-sung, pop punk sounding things. They have no power, no balls, and are thrown in the structure of the song excessively. There are emo sounding refrains where the vocalist whines annoyingly. This vocalist clearly has never heard a ballsy power metal album in his life. He sounds like he’s (intentionally) whining and sobbing. Sometimes singing lower, and trying to sound menacing - dragging out a low spoken word type of singing, sounding like new In Flames. Another credit to this album being completely NOT power or folk metal. Both those genres are typically relatively upbeat, epic, powerful and very energetic - those would be the last words I’d use to describe this release.
The guitarist seems a bit confused, staggering the line between what would be exhausted, weak power metal riffs, and pop punk, three chord riffs where the chords are strummed but once.
There are an over abundance of acoustic parts, where they strum away listlessly, trying to no avail to wring some emotion out of their instruments. It’s akin to when emo bands do this sort of thing, with the addition of a flute and/or violin. The violin is the only tolerable part of this music. But it is too infrequent, and often makes very short appearances or is buried in the mix.
There are other moments where they show they can’t put together a song, or keep it coherent. The start of the title track makes you think you might have just stumbled into a Japanese rave club. A totally techno-sounding keyboard effect that sounds like it’ll soon break into pulsing beats without end. Seriously - I cannot express in words how utterly out of place and flamboyant this part is.
You might read this review and think I’m exaggerating the extent of the emo, punk, goth aspects of this album; but I assure you, I am not.
If I was discovering “metal” for the first time, this may be of a barely acceptable level.
If you want a great band in the style this band is trying to be, check out instead: Fjoergyn, Faulkenbach, Heidevolk, Korpiklaani, Moonsorrow, or Ensiferum.
This band is really a horrible representation of the genre it claims to be, and surely, being one of the more popular, hyped bands of it, give many potential fans the wrong impression.
Avoid at all costs.