Rating:
8.0
Metsatöll - Äio
3 March 2010


01. Ema Hääl Kutsub
02. Kui Rebeneb Taevas
03. Tuletalgud
04. Vaid Vaprust
05. Äio
06. Vihatõbine
07. Kuni Pole Kodus, Olen Kaugel Teel
08. Vägi Ja Võim
09. Minu Kodu
10. Nüüd Tulge, Mu Kaimud
11. Roju
12. Kabelimatsid
13. Verijää
14. Jõud


Metsatöll have managed to issue another fine album. Äio is a classical release true to the band's style with artwork by Jüri Arrak known for his distinctive paintings concerning Estonian folk tales. This album is another longer one after the very diverse Hiiekoda although bit shorter and explores some new fields previously not discovered on the earlier works.

The ensemble's way of using Finno-Ugric traditional music with a good bucket of Celtic (particularly Irish) sound together with heavy metal settings is present in this album. This is delighting for this particular style has always made them outstanding amongst all other folk acts. The lyrics are in Estonian with a rather well written poetry in them, yet another plus for the band. The new aspects that appear on this album are the lessened Celtic colours and more pronounced Eastern sound (Mongolian, Central Asian etc), moving closer to the roots of Uralic peoples. This enriches the folk metal scene a lot. Who needs more "viking" folk bands who all rely on a mishmash of Scandinavian and British barn dance styles anyway? Plus Metsatöll's experience and maturing over the year makes them technically superior to some less experienced unknown bands of Asian scene.

Äio features some darker sounds than the previous releases. The metal side of the album explores style similar to the Estonian military tragedy act Loits. The instrumental side shows good combination of national bow instruments, bagpipes, harps etc. The symphonic factor is added by the choir who make the music more polyphonic and mellow. I hope they keep this tendency and transform into a symphonic folk band someday. It wouldn't be bad.

The good moments of this album are not that much concentrated into specific tracks but appear along the course of the album which is not that much of a "hit-song release" this time. The most suitable representatives of the colour palette of this album would be the introduction with the two, no, three, no... well, with all the following songs. The choice is hard for every song has something to offer. The potential hit song is "Vaid Vaprust" although "Roju", "Verijää" and the title track are among the better ones. Whoever searches for some bit more exotic experience from the folk field, Estonia proudly recommends Metsatöll.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Production: 9


Band profile: Metsatöll
Album: Äio


 


written by Ernis | 09.05.2010



Comments

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Varegan - 09.05.2010 at 21:06  
Finally i succeed to listen to one of songs today! Roju was fine indeed, its the kind of folk metal i like, i should listen to whole album soon
atrox - 09.05.2010 at 22:07  
"The lyrics are in Estonian with a rather well written poetry in them, yet another plus for the band."

To my mind lyrics have always been Metsatöll's weakest side. Singing about fathers, brothers, wolves, bravery and swords was enough after first 10 songs. Musically (besides vocals) they seem to have been moving a bit farther from folk and towards black/pagan and this is very welcome
Ernis - 09.05.2010 at 22:09  
Written by atrox on 09.05.2010 at 22:07

"The lyrics are in Estonian with a rather well written poetry in them, yet another plus for the band."

To my mind lyrics have always been Metsatöll's weakest side. Singing about fathers, brothers, wolves, bravery and swords was enough after first 10 songs. Musically (besides vocals) they seem to have been moving a bit farther from folk and towards black/pagan and this is very welcome

I didn't say bout the contents of the lyrics... the rhyme's fine... I couldn't compose it like that... plus Estonian language is so rarely used in music...
Magatouve - 10.05.2010 at 00:58  
A maths question: the reviewer gave the album four 9's in his rating but the overall rating was 8, how come
Burning Winter - 10.05.2010 at 03:03  
Written by Magatouve on 10.05.2010 at 00:58

A maths question: the reviewer gave the album four 9's in his rating but the overall rating was 8, how come


He rated the four aspects respectively on their own, but the overall rating is much like a global appreciation of the album and is not directly calculated with those four criterias.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong.
HardSide - 10.05.2010 at 06:47  
Forgot all about these guys, great band, I remember hearing them on MS radio years ago thats how I got into them.
BurnInHell - 10.05.2010 at 12:19  
They certainly managed to make a great album, I really like all of the songs, but Äio, Roju, Tuletalgud are the best, Minu Kodu kinda gets into the soul
Götter - 11.05.2010 at 02:25  
"Finno-Ugric traditional music with a good bucket of Celtic (particularly Irish) sound"
and
"The new aspects that appear on this album are the lessened Celtic colours and more pronounced Eastern sound (Mongolian, Central Asian etc)"

What??? Where? When? How?



"The metal side of the album explores style similar to the Estonian military tragedy act Loits"

Uh, I don't know how you reached that conclusion, despite everything these bands are worlds apart...
flamey - 12.06.2010 at 11:41  
I quickly got bored with previous releases of this band (particularly the album in 2005) but this time they've got me! Really good album, I like the production a lot too, it makes me wanna listen to it more and more. Vaid Vaprust is definitely my favorite but almost all songs are above average.

For me it's their finest album to date and maybe they'll get more recognition with this.

p.s Estonian sounds awesome.
bluegreengod - 17.10.2010 at 07:03  
Nice review...you definitely peaked my curiosity with this one. I picked this album up today and plan to listen to it late tonight - properly 'chinesed' to enjoy some good new music. It's kinda odd, though...all 9's on the breakdown and then a 8 overall?

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