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Cales > KRF > Reviews
Cales - KRF

The Czech warriors of times past bestowed - 80%

twan666, April 6th, 2010

Czech Republic doom/death/folk metallers Cales are now on album number 5, forming in 1992, these are somewhat of a surprise band for me. I do not normally listen to this style, but as I have found with a number of releases, and so being told on one occasion to broaden my music horizons, Cales are a great find!

Back to the matter in hand, ‘Barbarian Paganus’ is drinking music, it really is, the rhythm, the atmosphere, has all the hallmarks of a good old booze up in a village hall or at a festival. The music musters a sense of enjoyment through the strong vocals of warriors of yesteryear with thunderous bass heavy sound. In some respects you can attribute their sound to some Doomsword or Mael Mordha tunes, the pagan/celtic aspect of the music is very much present, but there is something else present, just a sheer accumulation of testosterone akin to troops being prepared for battle, swords and shields ahoy, war paint ready, then on into victory. ‘Resolution’ rasps, it stings like a bumble bee, I am sometimes reminded of the rousing anthems that Manowar used to produce in their ‘Hail To England’ period, whilst musically it is nothing like that album, it’s the atmosphere that surrounds this release makes it complete. ‘Pass In Time’ has much more of a folk flavor, the lighter moments are something I do really detest but Cales have done something to me, the quality of this arrangement makes you want more. ‘Savage Blood’ has doom written all over it, heavy as hell, a musical nirvana, an expression of power and mite.

‘KRF’ is Pagan/Celtic “battle” music (not battle metal!) at its best, and Cales are the Czech warriors of times past bestowed of epic arrangements.

Written for

When it shines, it blinds - 78%

autothrall, December 26th, 2009

I should state that even though I did not completely love the 5th full-length effort from Czechs Cales, there is a certain balls out fervor to their style of Celtic folk/pagan doom that should take anyone straight to a dip in the Guiness, and I can envision no situation in which any human being would listen to this album and not have at least a little fun. It rocks, it rolls, it thunders and crashes like a man wearing a kilt on a boxing spree, and it asks that you only grab a drink and have a good time. And at times, it exceeds even this level of immersion to create moments that transcend its barbaric pagan bombast.

"Barbarian Paganus" is a rousing drinkhall anthem which swaggers with the inevitable violence of a rumble over women and booze, but it romps along with a pretty harmless pace and expected folkish tint to the guitars. "Varjag" goes far beyond this, a swelling climax of huge rhythms and melodic tones that smack together like waves on a turbulent sea. This is an intense track, and had the entire album shared its desperation and beauty, we would have a classic on our hands. I loved Skuny's vocals on this, snarling like a constipated man trying to find his newspaper on the front lawn, with his drawers down. "Resolution" thrashes out with a great, winding rhythm that offsets intense chords and percussion, and it's nearly as good as "Varjag". "Pass in Time" and "Song of Outlaws" are far more along the lines of traditional folk metal, only with the Celtic edge as opposed to similar bands that use Finnish, Russian, German, Polish aesthetics, and so forth. "Legacy of Honour" has its moments, and "Savage Blood" staggers along a trail of warfare before "Magnificent Masterpiece of Apocalypse" puts you deep in your cups at the pugs.

Most of what Cales have conceived on the album is decent, and it all sounds quite bright and loud, but a few of the songs here really stand out (in particular "Varjag"). Two songs deep, I was thinking this album could be a true contender, but as the album moved along, I was a little disappointed. Still, KRF sounds really good, it does not often sound like a cut and paste from another folk metal album, and if you enjoy tales of Celtic and pre-Celt barbarism and lore, then go ahead and rock it.

Highlights: Varjag, Resolution, Savage Blood