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I digs me this. - 80%

doomknocker, March 3rd, 2011

There’s a bit of a science involved in checking out new bands as a result of their given genre as opposed to name-dropping or band connections, namely if the band in question is one you’ve never heard of. This came into play when I came across this Windfaerer act, one of the many no-namers stumbling across my path as I continue my foray into the folk metal scenes, and my curiosity as to how a blackened folk act from Joyzee could unleash the possible aggression-with-a-touch-of-sugar sound had me grabbing ‘hold of their latest (well, first) to see what they had in store for me.

So far, having it down to such a science has been more beneficent than failure-inducing, and it was with that vain belief that I leapt in, ready to be smothered by the metalness hopefully present on “Tribus”…

Well, I’ll say this much…this ain’t your forefathers folksy metal act. Pretty much the second you press the start button, this disc bursts from the seams in a wild abandon not quite on the goofy Korpiklaani side; instead, it embraces a darker and more brutal old-school-In-Flames/Blackguard-with-blast-beats feel that knocks you silly with its combination of punchy riffs and upbeat, harmonic leads and melodies that, sometimes, brush dangerously close to modern metalcore territory a bit too much for my taste. Still, there’s quite a bit of ability and skill in the overall performance, where the insane tempos, guitar lines, slap-style bass, pounding drums, underscored violin lines and growling/screaming chants cycle themselves through a production value that’s surprisingly clean and brighter than you’d expect from a first foray into a full-length recorded work. But there’s something more to these guys, that bit of “oomph!” warranting proper differentiation on their part; the drive for something more than simple Local Band Syndrome definitely present in their craft, if a bit rough around the edges in terms of songwriting and arrangements (some of the tastier moments end up downtrodden by a few bouts of unnecessary repetition and slapdash composition from time to time). But I have to say that I felt compelled to finish the disc once it started, which is a bit of a rarity with a lot of the newer acts I’ve come across lately. It would be great if these guys, or at least guys like them in our end of the pond, found longevity well beyond the underground and all her unnecessary limitations. But if that’s not the case, here’s hoping that they’ll still prattle on and continue giving us future recorded works of equally above-average caliber, and during that time, we can still take this for the awesome-sauce album, where the likes of “A Gentle Touch Upon Ravaged Wounds”, “In the Wake of War” and “This Beautiful Death” (as life is just, apparently) bludgeon us with all their violent beauty.

In the end, Windfaerer have impressive debut material that, hopefully, can grow and evolve as time progresses. If “Tribus” is any indication, things could very well come up roses for these guys as they continue peddling their metallic wares. Time will have to tell, I suppose. But until then, I totally recommend this.