Genre: Folk Metal / Viking Metal
02 The Lady's Gift
03 By The Sword
04 Naglfar Sets Sail
05 The Death Of Beowulf
07 Skaldic Art
08 Domain Of Darksome Ravens
09 Return To Walehalle
10 Heathenpride (Falkenbach Cover)
13 Wisdom Of Wolves
14 Sailing A'Viking
15 Tribute To The Viking Gods
16 Journey Ends
So you like metal, especially folk and viking metal? Then you need this.
That could sum it all up, but is hardly a substantial review. So, here comes the background information, further readings, connected bands and all that shite we fans of music are interested in. Superficial is not interesting. Let's get going.
The band: Folkearth is not your normal band. If one can call it a band even. It's more a name for a everchanging group of musicians, singers and lyric-writers to make music. Not just a few people. Not just 10-15 people. No, the amount of people involved in this project is several dozen. It's simply not fun anymore to count them all. Luckily, this is done for us. The booklet informs us the band, on this CD, features 31 musicians from eight different countries. Their debut album, 'A Nordic Poem', featured 14 musicians from six different countries. Hello international ensemble. To name a few bands of who bandmembers are involved in this project would do all the unnamed bands no justice, so I ask you to look at Metal Archives and/or Wikipedia for a list. I must say I miss my own country in the Wikipedia list. No members of, for example, Heidevolk or Grimm? Guys, get involved! Add some of your awesome clean vocals!
The name: 'Folkearth' is pretty selfexplanatory. Folk for the kind of metal, earth because it are people from around the globe. In effect, the songs can be about pretty much any kind of mythology, but, as things go, is mainly centered around Nordic mythology, which leads me to the next point.
The lyrics: As said, mainly centered around Nordic mythology. If this were a book, anyone who loves intertextuality could eat his/her heart out. I love intertextuality, and this is just full of it. 'The Lady's Gift' is the first tracktitle. Based on a folk story, without doubt. Naglfar? Besides being a Swedish black metal band (and Nagelfar a German black metal band), it's the mythological ship made out of nails of the deceased. Beowulf? You haven't been asleep have you? A famous Old English poem, set in Denmark, as well as various visual interpretations of this. Even the Dutch Harsh-EBM/industrial project Grendel could be noted here, simply because of the name. Skaldic Art? 1) art by a skald, a member of a group of poets. Scandinavian. 2) A label founded by Vratyas Vakyas (Falkenbach). Etcetera. This band and it's intertextuality is an awesome subject for anyone who studies something in music, art, culture and loves intertextuality.
The music: What can I say, it's more than diverse. It's metal. It's folk. It has clean male and female vocals, screaming and grunting male vocals and spoken words. It has harp, violin, acoustic guitar, whistles, bagpipes, flutes, piano and more. It has very fast drums combined with stretched out vocals for a perfect contradiction ('By The Sword Of My Father'). It has folk-only aspects, in the 'Introduction' even a new-age sound. It is everything the folkmetal scene has to offer, and more. It's not restricted to a certain array of instruments, and thus can do whatever they want with each song.
The best part: 1: Heathenpride. Simply because of the lyrics. The epic structure of the song. The chills it send down my spine everytime I listen to it and read the lyrics. Anyone who has never heard this song, or the original by Falkenbach, go listen to it, one way or another, and read the lyrics! 2: Instrumental. Classic folk melody in a metal form. Dance or headbang, do what you will!
The worst part: 1: A Tribute To The Viking Gods. The lyrics are simply too repetitive. 2: Journey Ends. Because it introduces the end of the album.
The vinal verdict: So you like metal, especially folk and viking metal? Then you need this. And the beginning returns at the end. How's that for intertextuality! Join in and celebrate the old times!