Fferyllt - Dance Of Druids review
|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
08. Winds Of Trondheimsfjorden
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.
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| Jason W.
Down Under Staff
| Blood Eagle
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