Fferyllt - Dance Of Druids review


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Band: Fferyllt
Album: Dance Of Druids
Release date: February 2009

01. A Celtic Tale
02. Night Of The Woodgod
03. Following Skadi
04. Dance Of Druids
05. Autumn's Gold
06. Warriors Of Ireland
07. Йолль
08. Winds Of Trondheimsfjorden
09. Gjallarhorn
10. Lai Lai Hei [Ensiferum cover]
11. Inis Mona [Eluveitie cover]

If ever there was an album which showcased the "folk" in Folk Metal, the debut album Dance Of Druids from Russia's Fferyllt (I'm still not sure I'm pronouncing that properly) would possibly be it. From the opening intro "A Celtic Tale" you can start to judge this as you notice the bagpipes and then further on throughout the album you pick up all the woodwind instruments, a viola and Dmitry Eliseev's mouth harp. What you're getting yourself into with Fferyllt definitely isn't just a guitars and keyboard folk style.

A good array of folk instruments doesn't necessarily mean an outstanding album though, but Fferyllt have somewhat delivered on the good song writing and catchiness. Songs like "Jule" have a heavy kind of feel to them with good atmospheres and a nice folk tunes. Most songs here sway at a medium pace sometimes with faster drumming, sometimes without. The drums are programmed it must be noted, so they are somewhat flat but not too bad for a machine. With really good musicianship and somewhere decent song writing, the signs point towards quite a good piece of metal and folk music.

Dance Of Druids does however have some downsides. Or at least some features which might not appeal to all listeners of the album. For starters, most of the female vocals are an acquired taste. They are...extremely operatic to the point of being quite quavering and indistinguishable. Mind you some of it is in Russian, but from what I can tell she sings in English as well, but you still have to check the lyrics. Thankfully, the vocals on Dance Of Druids vary from very well harmonised chanted vocals, to growls, to clean vocals and operatic, so they are really as diverse as the folk instruments. One quarter of this oral output won't appeal to everyone though as the female vocals would be better placed in some kind of operatic theatre production, due to their very noticeably over-the-top nature. Apparently Yanina Zelenskaya isn't with the band anymore though so perhaps we won't hear from her on the next Fferyllt album.

With all the factors considered though, this isn't a bad debut album from the Russian quintet. Fans of true entwining of metal and folk music should find some enjoyment especially. The metal instruments haven't been neglected though either, songs like "Winds Of Trondheimsfjorden" and the aforementioned "Jule" showcase some nice and heavy mid-paced guitar riffing and even some quite clever solos. Fferyllt have done quite a good job of having both styles of music complement each other. Most Folk Metal fans will know the two cover songs at the end of Dance Of Druids from popular bands Ensiferum and Eluveitie. Not much exploring of original content needed here. Fferyllt's versions pretty much do them justice, with some good musicianship coming out of the otherwise pretty similar songs. These last couple of tracks are a decent finish to an all over pretty good album.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 7
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 7

Written by Raiden | 06.03.2010



Comments: 8   Visited by: 75 users
07.03.2010 - 11:44
Fferfyllt would be a good band if they didnt have those terrible clean vocals. her voice is really strange and her english sucks (her finnish too) i hope that there wont be any clean vocals in their next album
07.03.2010 - 11:56
Heaven Knight
The 3 songs they have on MySpace was quite ok for me...but i dont think i will be searching more by them unless there will be some unique opportunity
My rest seems now calm and deep
Finally I got my dead man sleep

08.03.2010 - 06:00
I like the female vocals.

This band is kind of a like a lighter Arkona, minus the absolute greatness of Masha, though
Delain International - Delain fansite/fan community supporting Delain since June 2009
08.03.2010 - 08:40
Jason W.
Nice review It's the same feelings I've had while listening to the album. I really liked Yanina's vocals; the acquired taste you talk of is exactly what appeals to me. The male vocals are okay I guess, but, I'm bored to death by the extreme style used in folk metal bands, so the thought of no clean vocals in the future turns me off. I wonder where they'll head on the next release...
"After silence that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music." - Aldous Huxley
08.03.2010 - 08:48
Down Under Staff

Well there you go, some people definitely do like those vocals. Yeah who knows what the next album will be like.
"Scream for me Melbourne!!!!"
- Bruce Dickinson

"I don't see any god up here"
- Yuri Gagarin (while in orbit, 1961)
11.03.2010 - 00:59
I like this album it's good.

I hope for a new one stronger than this.
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22.12.2010 - 20:03
Account deleted
As far as I'm concerned, I really like that album. It's not the best folk metal stuff ever, yet it's very nice; and as you said in your review, the fact that they use real folk instruments really helps getting in the mood for it (real instruments>keyboard in folk metal imo). And it really reminds me of Cruachan, a band I love.
15.06.2012 - 10:57
Blood Eagle
I wasn't crazy about the vocals either but fortunately I was able to look past them and focus more on the instruments. They definitely have potential though.

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