Myrkur is a folk based black metal act from a single woman (mostly) from New York City, but you’d swear she was from the actual Scandinavian lands from how heavily Nordic and authentic this sounds. Myrkur is a bi-polar experience of beauty/majesty and then darkness/evil. Myrkur also brings out the best of both worlds when it comes to folk based experimental ambient that is very true to the Scandinavian area as we as classic and modern black metal. She handles most of the music and can sing like Chelsea Wolfe then belt out throat shattering screams on par with Gorgoroth & Mayhem. The debut album M is powerful and pretty fucking neat.
Orchestral folk/viking metal from the Ukraine! Miellnir brings forth powerful hymns of battle, lore and Nordic mythology on Incineration Astern! Blending traditional pagan sounds with modern day cinematic serenade, and topping it off with some melodic death metal really gives Miellnir a powerful barbaric sound. Sometimes a folk/viking band will arrive and they’ll sound similar to something another band has previously done. Miellnir does something a little different and gives us a fresh take on this so called viking metal genre.
Wilderun returns with a funded sophomore album that has their majestic song writing that could be found on the first album, “Olden Tales & Deathly Trails”, with some added death vocals, atmospheric/symphonic sections, expansive progressive guitar riffing and folk melodies all blended together. Sleep at the Edge of the Earth is no let down as they show off nothing but top tiered musicianship and songs that are captivating on all fronts.
Ensiferum have returned with their sixth studio album called “One Man Army” and it’s everything you’d expect from this band but with more ‘umph’ in terms of energy with almost thrash styled riffing. The typical folk metal melodies will be found on here and the band often comes together to give us the best use of group vocals with wild shouting and choir like singing. Sometimes the band will give us a cinematic approach on a song or two and it really drives home that epic feeling that this band is known to deliver. This isn’t just your usual metal journey, Ensiferum’s “One Man Army” makes sure you are enjoying yourself as well as making you headbang, which of course is important to me.
After four years of silence, avant norse folk metal duo, SOLEFALD, return with Norrønasongen. Kosmopolis Nord, an experimental soundtrack to the fjords and mountains of Norway, and a hymn to the nature of the North. A prequel to the eclectic duo’s forthcoming Kosmopolis Sud full-length set for release next year, Norrønasongen. Kosmopolis Nord was created for release on vinyl, boasts a crew totaling ten musicians and finds SOLEFALD venturing into new and unfamiliar soundscapes.
Today Stereogum is pleased to host the official unveiling of “Come The Flood,” the new hymn from Dublin metal troupe, PRIMORDIAL. The stirring tune appears as the third track on the band’s long-anticipated Where Greater Men Have Fallen full-length, set for release via Metal Blade Records this November.
Double Experience’s sound isn’t metal at all but due to me loving almost anything and everything that has to do with video games, I figured why the hell not. Well, the sound just does not sit well with me as the music belongs on an alternative radio station. Too much poppy rock happening, I like the vocals though. Still, meh. 2.5 out of 5
You know the feeling you get when you listen to well done folk metal similar to Scythia? That overwhelming joy and excitement? Russian pagan/folk metal band Bastion definitely do this for me and invoke maddening headbanging moments. This music is just good and the use of wind instruments is the best I’ve heard so far this year. Bastion definitely bring forth an authentic folk feeling with their metal offerings.
I took a break from my usual Friday night routine of black metal and Diablo 3 to partake in one of the more anticipated shows for me: Paganfest. I may be wrong but I do not think this tour has ever made it through Kansas City and I definitely wasn’t going to miss out on seeing these bands play at such a small venue. The venue was packed with beards, long hair, Mjolnir pendents and metal shirts. Few people brought drinking horns and even less wore the clothing that you would find at the Renaissance festival. Still, the energy and positive vibe throughout the night was great and each band played very well.