Album Review: Folkodia – Battles and Myths
Origin: Most Europe, some US
Release: March, 2012
Label: Stygian Crypt Productions
Genre: Folk Metal
We have an album by a band called Folkodia. That, of course, spells but one thing: Folk Metal! And loads of it dear kids! And the fact that the record is called Battles and Myths gives plenty of hints as to what direction this Folk Metal tends to: the heroic and epic type!
Folkodia is apparently a spin off from this massive international Folk Metal project called Folkearth. That means not all of the countless musicians from Folkearth are involved. In fact, only a fraction is: I count only 13 members on Encyclopaedia Metallum, though only 10 are listed on the album insert. In any case, small band, NOT!
Like its mother-band Folkearth, Folkodia mixes a heroic type of Death Metal with classical and folk instruments. Mentioning some of the instruments that aren’t involved in a normal Metal band, the band adds an accordion, the recorder, piccolo, cello, flute, mandola, thin whistle and a more. The result is something that is perhaps best characterized as a form of Eighties Metal with the Folk elements from Eluveitie and Turisas and the epic vocals – male and female – of those you’d expect from something epic (or perhaps a medieval banquet). There are some growls too, thankfully!
There isn’t really a point in describing this further, so have yourself some ‘Sword of Kings’ to start with.
Battles and Myths isn’t purely battle pounding that warms the heart and fires the spirit. Song four, El Cid the Champion, is an acoustic song with flutes and the lot that just makes you smell the campfire and the presence of warriors and a fair lady or two. Sounds nice, but to be honest it’s the least appealing of all the songs on the album, together with that one other clean song, The Passing of a Caesar. Especially the latter is whiny and bores the living crap out of me. Its function to me is limited to creating a pause before the battle riffage can kick off with renewed force again.
I’ll be honest, sometimes the band gets a little too medieval on my ass, by which I mean they could be a bit more brutal instead of running through the woods like a bunch of fairies with toy swords and axes. However, the intention is generally good and it’s primarily due to the clean vocals, both male and female, that the band loses the punch it should have had. The better songs are therefore definitely those songs that pack speed and / or aggression. Apart from the above presented Sword of Kings, that’s for example The Arrival (opening song) and Dragonslayer (track 7).
I guess it’s a matter of taste. To me this record is generally too soft, but that doesn’t mean it’s not well executed. The mixing and mastering was clearly performed by someone who knew what he/she was doing. It’s crisp and clear and nicely balances out the many different instruments. The catchiness of the melodies and epicness of the thrust leaves nothing to be desired either. The growls are good whenever they occur. I’m just not happy about the cleans. And that’s all I can say about it. I guess when you frequently imagine yourself as a bearded Viking singing battle hymns, this might be just the thing for you. If you enjoy a more smack-in-the-face sort of Metal, you may steer clear of this one.
My Grade: 7/10
Buy this when:
- you like bombastic male and female clean vocals in your Metal
- you enjoy Turisas, Korpiklaanni and other Northern Folk Metal outfits