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Fferyllt - Dance of druids

Author admin
Wed 12 Dec 12
/ 5
N/A

It’s an ambivalent journey that Fferyllt takes me on. On one hand they present a much more melodic musical venture than I’d normally enjoy, but on the other hand it’s extremely catchy. But then again, some of the vocals bug the hell out of me while I can’t help but to love some of the folk aspects of the album. So I really don’t know what to think, to tell you the truth.

Let’s start with the fact that the hysterical, semi-opera-like female vocals in a track like "Night of the wood-god" annoys me. Sure, she’s got one hell of a voice, but still it sounds way too out there and hysterical (in lack of a better word, but she does sound a bit mental) for me to take it seriously. Fortunately she tones it down for the most part, and it’s just strong clean vocals, all while she tends to be just on the edge of losing her sanity and succumb to the hysteria. And while on the subject of the vocals; pronunciation-wise it could be better. But then again her vocals are much less decipherable than that of many growler’s; go figure.

Cruachan is a name that keeps popping up while listening to "Dance of druids"; namely for the same kind of musical recipe. It’s very melodic metal, jam-packed with folk music aspects. And I can’t help but to also think of Nightwish, however that’s only due to the vocal part of Fferyllt; musically the two band’s have very little in common. Take away the screams of act’s such as Folkearth and Irminsul, add the folk aspect of Yggdrasil and heavy metal-flirtations of Korpiklaani and you know pretty much what we’re dealing with. Fferyllt have really managed to create a catchy, energetic folk metal album. The use of bagpipe, mouth harp, whistles and various other folk music instruments is very well executed. It brings the tunes together in a whirlwind of melody. But, for me it’s often too melodic, and I can’t help but to blame the lack of rough vocals. Sure, a few tracks such as "Jule", "Gjallarhorn" and "Warriors of Ireland" have screams, and these are also coincidently the best tracks on the album. Here the melodic folk metal gets tweaked when the harshness of the vocals brings it up a notch. But overall there’s just too little use of rough vocals, and mixing the clean female hysteria with the harsh male screams would benefit this band a lot.

The booklet looks fantastic, and the paper used feels really wood-like, adding to the nature aspect of the lyrics. And lyrically they deal with some Norse mythology, some Scandinavian history as well as some fantasy stuff. It’s very fitting with the overall concept of the music, and if it wasn’t printed in the booklet (and in English) I think I would’ve enjoyed the album a lot less, since a big part of their appeal would’ve gone missing. As I said before this is way more melodic than what I’d choose to listen to myself, and normally I just don’t like it when it’s too damn melodic. I’m not a fan of Cruachan (which I think this band resembles the most), but still I can’t deny the power of Fferyllt. It’s very slickly arranged, catchy and energetic. For the next time I just hope they’ll have heeded my words and added more screams to the recipe. Oh, and the Ensiferum cover "LAI LAI HEI" is really well-done.

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