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'The Final Journey'
(AFM Records)

Daryl Soar

daryl soar

German Viking Metal. It seems that if you can't quite fit yourself into a comfy genre and you're prepared to embrace a little folk, you can quite happily make up what you like.

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The album is a 50/50 mix of ironic predictable death folk grunted in German and the more interesting operatic, theatrical epics with some English.

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I almost gave up after the first listening to 'Der Ring Mit Dem Kreuz', the second track on the album, which would have saved me from being infected by the devilishly simple melody and Russian style rhythmic guitar - ala Turisas. It's a good song but doesn't provide great guitar work or anything distinctly different.

Where the album shines is when the vocals turn to a deep rich baritone bass pumping out operatic melodies over simple guitar work and great fiddle playing. The fiddle is the best instrument by far and carries the songs when the other elements don't stand up.

The band seem to agree and dutifully succour us with a fiddle lead instrumental. The band shine when it comes to theatrical over the top folk opera styled death Metal. I just wish they stuck to it more rather than adding variation with filler tracks.

I know some die hard folk Metal fans that will positively gobble this album up. For me its an odd mix of predictable folk based death and well written songs with adventurous operatic vocals.

It's worth adding to a folk collection but misses the mark if your hoping for a little viking based melo-death.



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