Cruachan – The Living And The Dead

The Living And The Dead Album Cover Art

Cruachan – The Living And The Dead
Despotz Records
Release Date: 24/03/2023
Running Time: 51:55
Review by Chris Galea 

Probably before Folk Metal was even a genre, somewhere near Dublin Cruachan were already giving traditional music a rougher, more Metal edge. That was 30 + years, 8 albums and several line-up changes ago. Multi-instrumentalist Keith Fay is the only original member still in the band and on album no. 9 the services of a number of session musicians are called upon to lay down these new songs.

The album is called “The Living And The Dead” which at first glance seems to be thematically based on feelings of loss and the ensuing pain. But more to the point is that it’s quite possibly Cruachan’s magnum opus. 

All the hallmarks of folk music are here… Violin, tin whistle, bagpipes, accordion, sing-along choruses… But they never interfere with the heaviness of the music. Likewise even when the music gets quite furious – as in ‘The Ghost’ for example – the Folk traits are never snuffed out. All this is due to the superlative songwriting quality that pervades the whole album. 

In ‘The Changeling’ during a bewitching intro you can sense that riffs are round the corner but you’re still floored when they do burst forth. And it’s not just ‘The Changeling’, great riffs can be found elsewhere in the album too. ‘The Witch’ is another headbanger that has a classic Thin Lizzy vibe to it and is embellished by a solo from Rage, Venom’s guitarist.

Speaking of guests, it’s worth noting that the aforementioned ‘The Ghost’ owes some of its intensity to the singing of Mathias ‘Vreth’ Lillmåns, vocalist of Finntroll, another Folk Metal pioneer.

‘The Dead’, which closes the album, has a deceptively simple but haunting melody using acoustic guitar and violin which alternates with some truly caustic Black Metal vocals. Weirdly enough it all works beautifully.

I have taken a few songs as examples to back up my assertion that although the album has its own character, there are many shades and facets to that character. Although the album impressed me straight away, I found myself liking it more each time I gave it a spin and uncovered more of its facets.

Personally I only reserve 10/10 ratings for great albums that also have something unique about them. “The Living And The Dead” does indeed have that special ingredient. I dare envision that this one is destined to be a classic of the genre.

‘The Crow’ Promotional Video:

01. The Living
02. The Q
03. The Hawthorn
04. The Harvest
05. The Festival
06. The Ghost
07. The Crow
08. The Reaper
09. The Children
10. The Changeling
11. The Witch
12. The Dead

Keith Fay – vocals, guitars, banjo, mandolin, percussion
Dave Quinn – guitars
Audrey Trainor – violin
Joe Farrell – bass
Tom Woodcock – drums


Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Chris Galea and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Grimner – Urfader

Urfader Album Cover Art

Grimner – Urfader
Despotz Records
Release Date: 18/11/2022
Running Time: 55:00
Review by Rory Bentley

During my very first review for Ever Metal I recounted the devastating psychological toll that lock down had taken on me which manifested in me liking Folk Metal, something which has never truly gone away as my glowing review of Verikalpa’s beer drenched debut will attest to. Now at the end of the year I am still no further forward from disrupting my proclivity towards jaunty music made by silly Nordic lads dicking about in the woods. As the resident Hardcore aficionado at EM, and a shaven-headed angry man that stomps around in Doc Martens all day listening to Agnostic Front, I can’t even begin to tell you what an image-killer this is for me, but you can’t fight what you like!

Swedish Folk dorks Grimner are a supreme example of everything I like about the genre. There is a rustic sense of ancient mystery evoked by the traditional instruments and mythological subject matter, there are big sing-along hooks and there’s a fine balance of silly fun and wistful melancholy that only the best Folk Metal bands can capture. When “Urfader” is at its best, it is every bit as enchanting and whimsical as the frankly stunning album art and represents a high-water mark for 2022 Folk Metal. I can’t believe I’m typing some of these sentences.

There are three main aspects to Grimner’s sound that really jump out at me and separate them from the pack on “Urfader”. Beginning with the most accessible aspect, the band are really great at the actual Metal part of the genre. A big gripe with Folk Metal is that the riffs and guitarwork often seem perfunctory and generic, with a mid-tempo Thrash riff that Gary Holt would chuck in the bin often making up the spine of a song that seems way more interested in beating you over the head with an accordion. One listen to the searing Melodeath attack of ‘Dar Froet Skall Spira’ is enough to leave you in no doubt that these guys are students of the Metal game and capable of composing songs that would stand up by themselves were they stripped of the bells and whistles that go with the Folk side of things. The lead guitar work is also very well done, with impressively structured solos that do so much more than ape the main melody for a few bars.

The second aspect that sets Grimner apart is a fair bit more divisive to the casual listener- there is a SHIT LOAD of flute on here! Despite the praise I’ve heaped on the axe-slinging contingent of the band, the flute is very much the dominant instrument and your mileage with this record will vary depending on your tolerance of this. Personally, I’m all for it and it’s hard to imagine the huge instrumental hook of ‘Vasterled’ popping as hard with any other instrument. As I have confessed before, Nightwish are my favourite band for reasons I still don’t completely understand, so I’m no stranger to a Folky hoe-down at the centre of a song, so those who love a bit of mid-2000s Nuclear Blast before they started signing cooler bands will feel right at home here. But if energetic opener ‘Hamtad Av Valkyrior’ gave you too many goblin-dancing vibes when the main hook kicked in, its going to be a long listen for you.

The final most distinctive part of Grimner’s sound is their truly excellent vocal harmonies. Gang vocals are as big a part of Folk Metal as they are of NYHC, again a sentence I wish I wasn’t typing, but true nonetheless. If part of your song doesn’t sound like a bunch of lairy blokes in a tavern ruining someone’s quiet post-battle pint, you’re fucking up at Folk Metal, however, rarely are these vocals so pristine and refined while still maintaining that rowdy feel. ‘Ulvhendars Natt’ is lifted from a catchy thrasher to a bombastic anthem by the strident vocal work in the chorus, and ‘Ur Vagorna’ features some gorgeous close harmonies over delicate finger picking in the intro. These two numbers appear back-to-back and illustrate the full breadth of the band’s sound, and both are immensely enhanced by top-notch singing arrangements.

Inevitably my main gripe is that the album is too long, because that’s nearly always my response, but I do feel the impact of the very finest cuts, particular in the latter part of the record, such as the excellent ‘Glod’, would be greater if some of the less essential tracks were consigned to B-sides and bonus tracks. There’s nothing remotely poor on any of this 55 minute runtime, but there’s only so many dungeon-synth-on-crack sections a guy can take before inevitable fatigue sets in. The sheer discipline and brevity Finntroll showed in their 2020 comeback album is a big part of why I feel they have yet to be surpassed at this sort of thing, despite Grimner often matching the quality of their finest moments.

When all’s said and done, though, “Urfader” is a finely composed, raucously performed and surprisingly intricate addition to the modern Folk Metal canon, and as winter draws near you’ll be hard pushed to find a better soundtrack to knocking back some ales and tearing it up with your Troll posse to see out 2022.

‘VästerledOfficial Video

01. Hämtad Av Valkyrior (Retrieved By Valkyries)
02. Där Fröet Skall Spira (Where The Seed Shall Sprout)
03. Västerled (Westbound)
04. Ulvhednars Natt (Night Of The Ulfheðinn)
05. Ur Vågorna (Out Of The Waves)
06. Helvandrarna (The Hel-Walkers)
07. Elftevisan (Eleventh Tune)
08. Glöd (Embers)
09. Ivaldes Söner (Sons Of Ivalde) 
10. En Sista Sköldborg (One Last Shield Fort) 
11. Tiundaland (Tiundaland)

Ted Sjulmark – Vocals, guitars
Martin Boe – Vocals, guitars 
David Fransson – Bass, backing vocals
Johan Rydberg – Flutes, mandola
Kristoffer Kullberg – Keyboards
Henry Persson – Drums


Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Rory Bentley and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Skarlett Riot – Invicta

Invicta Album Cover Art

Skarlett Riot – Invicta
Despotz Records
Release Date: 07/05/2021
Running Time: 48:08
Review by Beth Jones

As a reviewer, I will never tire of the privileged position that we have of being introduced to new music on a daily basis. Music, for me, has always been a lifeblood, and a constant, which travels with me, wherever life leads. The creation of music is a journey which strives to make emotional connections, in whatever form that may take. And, as a listener, one of the best feelings in the world is hearing an album, or indeed any piece of music, that connects with you straight away. In that instant, you know you’ve found something special. This doesn’t necessarily happen all the time, but when it does, it is magical.

I’m going to say, straight up, that “Invicta”, the latest release from UK Modern/Alternative Metal band, Skarlett Riot, is one of those magical albums. And that’s because it’s been created with emotion at its forefront. The band themselves say about the album “We’ve overcome so much together as a band throughout the years and “Invicta” represents the physical and mental struggles we’ve experienced together and individually, making us who we are today.”

Musically, Skarlett Riot could be likened to a combination of Killswitch Engage and Evanescence (who incidentally are two of my favourite bands). It’s a chunky, technical, riff-heavy sound, with lots of hooks and progressive elements, and a combination of screams, growls, and clean vocals from the exceptional pipes of Skarlett, all pulled together through brilliant melodies. It’s fast and ferocious, and played, mixed, and produced perfectly, making it an irresistible listen from start to finish.

However, the ‘great album’ status of “Invicta” moves a step higher for me, with one track in particular. Recently, I’ve not been in the best place. A lot of historical detritus decided to invade my headspace in a way that it’s never managed to before, and it’s not been much fun. ‘Into Pieces’, lyrically, is a track that could have been written from my soul. It’s a more acoustic-based track, compared to the speed and punchiness of the rest of the album. And it’s a melancholic journey from start to finish, which caught me off-guard on first listen. I’ve now lost count of how many times I’ve listened to that track alone in the past couple of weeks. It’s been my go-to track, I’ve had it on repeat, I’ve turned it up full pelt in the car and sung my heart out to it (it didn’t take long to learn it word-for-word, because I felt like I already knew it), I’ve wandered round the house humming it, and I’ve cried to it. I feel very lucky to have found it, and Skarlett Riot. This is the start of a beautiful friendship between me and their music.

And that’s all I really have to say about this album. There’s only so many ways to say ‘this is next-level brilliant’ in one review. The magic music triangle of technical perfection, passionate emotions, and connection, glows intensely throughout this masterpiece of a record, making it a very strong contender for my number 1 album of 2021, and it’s only May. It’s going to take some beating; I can tell you that.

‘Stronger’ (Official Video)

01. Breaking the Habit
02. Gravity
03. Black Cloud
04. Underwater
05. Stronger
06. Cut the Ties
07. Into Pieces
08. Not Alone
09. To the Flames
10. Falling
11. Human

Skarlett – Lead Vocals/Guitars
Danny – Guitars/Backing Vocals
Tim – Bass/Backing Vocals
Luke – Drums


Skarlett Riot Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Beth Jones and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Corroded – Bitter

Corroded - Bitter Cover

Corroded – Bitter
Despotz Records
Release Date: 25/01/2019
Running Time: 50:15
Review by Tsarina Wilson

When first listening to this album, I went from track to track thinking “oh this is my favourite track” then the next one came on and it was “no this one is.” Then I got to the end and there wasn’t one single track I could fault or think that wasn’t quite as good.
Swedish hard rock band, Corroded’s debut album “Eleven Shades of Black” was released in 2009 and their track “Time and Again” was used in the Swedish version of ‘Survivor.’
In 2010 the band won the “Breakthrough of The Year” award at Bandit Rock Awards and their next album “Exit to Transfer” went straight to number six in the Swedish Album chart. They then went on the write ‘Age of Rage’ for EA Games, a song that would feature as the theme song for the “Battlefield Play4Free,” and it achieved its gold status with millions of streams being downloaded.
After that “Defcon Zero”, which pushed every limit, and they hit the road with both Pain and on their own successful European headline tour, which made them one of the most prominent Swedish hard rock acts, and fully deserved too.
“Bitter” will leave you with no doubts as to just how good these guys are. There are crushing riffs, and vocals that sound like they come from the bowels of hell. They are powerful and explosive, but you can tell they have a passion for what they do.
Their last album was recorded 6 years ago but, due to a shift of labels it was only released in 2017, so the band spent a lot of time touring to keep the fans happy. Although touring the world was fun to play for the fans, they also knew they had to make another album sooner rather than later as not to lose momentum. This left the guys only one weekend to write material (wow no pressure then!) Once they started, though, lyrics were not hard to sort, as the break with their first record label and the political state of the world, had them all irritated and angry.
“We felt it was time to move on and there’s no better way to do it than to make a hard-hitting metal album.”
The first track ‘Bitter INTRO’ I was thinking ok, I must have got the wrong album, as the 2:21 track is almost Jean-Michel Jarre-like and not what I was expecting at all. But you must expect the unexpected from this album as you’re soon left in no mind what these guys are capable of.
If you need any more proof of it after listening to the album, then check out their videos. They are epic and seeing their lead singer Jens Westin in a silver suit body bopping on the floor in the video to their track ‘Burn’ had me in stitches.
Guys you are something else! Totally brilliant!
Talking of ‘Burn’, the manic tempo, full of anger and the emphasis on the BUUUUUURN in such a deep growl, gets to your soul and then, just as you think the track is ending, you slip into a Spanish guitar interlude. But please don’t worry, the guys haven’t suddenly gone soft, as within a short time, you are back to amazing guitar riffs and heart thumping drumming.
The band consists of Jens Westin on vocals and guitar, Thomas Anderson on guitar and backing vocals, Bjarne Elvsgar on bass and Per Solang on drums, and together give us a dark, melancholic, angry, album that is full of rage. This comes out so much in the track ‘Black’ you can really hear the anger and frustrations these guys have been through and their way of expressing it is literally music to our ears. There is no hiding away from the passion these guys have put into this album and I’m sure the crowds at their shows are crazy, with lots of fist pumping and headbanging going on.
‘Scream’ has a crazy speed, with totally insane drumming and the vocals leave you with a sore throat and those guitar riffs are just from another world.
Yes, the album is dark and angry, but you must listen to it over and over again! It’s just so damn good. It’s an album of what nightmares are made of but, wow what a nightmare!
Just epic!
01. Bitter INTRO
02. Breathing
03. Cross
04. Burn
05. Black
06. Testament
07. Scream
08. Cyanide
09. Destruction
10. Time
11. Drown
12. War

Corroded – The Official Website


Promo Pics
Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Tsarina Wilson and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Nightrage – Wolf To Man

Nightrage - Wolf To Man Cover

Nightrage – Wolf To Man
Despotz Records
Release Date 29/03/2019
Running Time: 43:55
Review by Lotty Whittingham

It’s no secret that the mighty wolf is often associated with the metal community. Bands like Powerwolf, Sonata Arctica and Wolf have turned this to their advantage, whether it’s writing songs about the wolf or naming their band after it. Nightrage have also done this successfully with their latest album “Wolf To Man”. It takes you on a brutal, fist banging and melodic journey about the demise of mankind.
The album goes straight in for the kill with opening track ‘Starless Night’. This gives you a great first glimpse of their high-quality sound, it’s one that balances sheer brutality and melodic tunes perfectly. Another thing that you notice is the brilliant guitar work, particularly in the solos and chorus. These melodic and brutal arrangements work flawlessly together to create some fantastic tunes.
Across the album, you can hear this remarkable balance between the two perfectly. One minute you could be rapidly headbanging along to the beats, the next minute you are practicing air guitar along to the tuneful solos. No track is the same either, each one showcases a different story. The track can either make you want to start a revolution or go on a murderous rampage. It’s hard to pick the best tracks off the album so here are a few of the songs that demonstrate the impeccable talent of Nightrage.
‘Embrace The Nightrage’ could easily cause a rampaging riot with its fast pace and ruthlessness in the verses. The victorious sounding chorus can encourage you to carry on or it can mark the end of a successful rampage. Especially when the band screams “embrace the nightrage”, there’s a great sense of empowerment and strength behind this phrase.
The transition from sweeping melodic arrangements to thrash metal arrangements in the song ‘By Darkness Drawn’ are flawless. This fist pumping, headbanging tune will make you want to start your own mosh pit wherever you happen to be. This is a dominant track and definitely one of many highlights on the album.
The chilled introduction to ‘Disconnecting The Dots’ gives a different vibe to the rest of the album. The title alone is open to interpretation and the introduction to this song is a great way to illustrate this phrase. The acoustic guitars in the bridge also portray a more relaxed vibe that can represent the title. The rest of the song continues to showcase the band’s brilliant balance between melodic beauty and sheer brutality.
It ends on a strong note with the tracks ‘Escape Route Insertion’ and instrumental ‘Lytrosis. Escape Route Insertion’ provides one more brutal blast screaming at us to escape reality, something that we can all relate to.
The instrumental Lytrosis provides a calming atmosphere with the stripped-down tones and mellow guitar riffs. It’s a wonderful way to help the listener relax after experiencing a sheer force of brutal metal.
“Wolf To Man” is a melodic death metal treasure for old and new listeners alike. Nightrage are not ones to mess with and the mighty strength from them is concrete evidence of this.
Warning: Not for the fainthearted or easily offended.
01. Starless Night
02. Wolf to Man
03. Embrace The Nightrage
04. Desensitized
05. God Forbid
06. By Darkness Drawn
07. The Damned
08. Arm Aim Kill
09. Gemini
10. Disconnecting the Dots
11. Lytrosis

Promo Pic1
Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Lotty Whittingham and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Jens Westin / Corroded Interview

Corroded logo

Jens Westin / Corroded interview
by Rick Tilley

I really hadn’t heard much of Swedish band Corroded until their latest album, the brilliant “Defcon Zero”, was sent to Ever Metal earlier in the year. However, this is a band that has created music for a Swedish TV show and the hugely popular video game Battlefield plus has topped the music charts in their home country! Now signed to Despotz Records they are intent on spreading the name Corroded much further afield and with the ‘international’ sound they have it’s not going to be difficult to do that. Recently I was lucky enough to get the chance to chat to Lead Vocalist and Guitarist Jens Westin about the band and even though he is a man of few words it’s clear to see is passion about his music!

Rick – Hi, I’m Rick from Ever Metal. It’s great to be able to ask you some questions. Firstly would you be able to give us a little background about Corroded for those who haven’t heard of you before?

Jens – CORRODED started out in 2004 and I (Jens) am the only original member left from that setup. Today the setup is me on vocals/lead guitar, Bjarne Elvsgard on bass, Tomas Andersson lead guitar and Per Solang on drums.

Your latest album ‘Defcon Zero’ has recently been released. I think it’s fantastic but how has it been received so far?

It has been received really good by the fans and also by the critics .

It’s been five years since your previous album ‘State Of Disgrace’ was released. I know you’ve been gigging regularly in-between albums but was there another reason why it took so long?

We decided that it was time for us to change label, and it took a really long time for everything to come together the way we wanted it to. But our new label (Despotz Records) is awesome, so it is all fine and dandy nowadays.

Your music is difficult to categorise! I don’t like giving music genre tags but most readers like to know where a band sits on the Metal/Rock spectrum and the closest I could come up with was Pantera meets Shinedown! To most that might sound like an odd combination so how would you describe your music?

I usually say that it lies in the ear of the beholder. It’s very hard for us to, to say what kind of musical genre we find ourselves in. Our standard answer is Hard Rock, because I think that it encompass almost every genre within the spectra.

I wasn’t expecting your music to be so hugely catchy, to add to what I said previously, it sounds like a dose of Modern Metal mixed with commercial American Hard Rock. How do you go about writing new material? Is it an individual or complete band process?

 It is a complete band process. We tend to start with a riff from me (Jens) or Tomas, and then we will take it from there as a band to a finished song.

In this day and age it’s not easy standing out, however, I cannot think of another band who sounds quite like Corroded! Who were your influences when growing up and what current bands do you like?

We have one common denominator and that is Black Sabbath, otherwise we have a lot of different musical influences within the band. For me it started with The Beatles and then AC/DC, then came bands like Black Sabbath, Metallica and so forth. For the moment I’m really in to Mastodon, Biffy Clyro, Meshuggah, Testament and Clutch.

You’ve become very popular in your home country of Sweden. Can you try and tell us what that rise in popularity has felt like?

It’s really hard to describe, because for us it has been a gradual climb up the ladder so to say. But one thing is for sure..…..It feels great J

You recently played Sweden Rock Festival to what looked like a huge crowd. That must have been a special moment?

Yeah, that was a real hallelujah moment. We didn’t think that it would be that many people there, since we played rather early on the last day of the festival. But when we came up on the stage and saw the crowd, man that was something else.

Scandinavian Countries seem to produce a vast amount of successful Metal and Rock bands. Why do you think that is?

I’m not sure. If I knew the reason why, I would sell it by the bottle and be a billionaire. I think that part of the reason is because we have a good music school for the kids, and I really think that the Scandinavian weather is a part of it too.

You’ve also recently been announced as main support on Pain’s European tour in October and November. How are you looking forward to that?

It’s going to be great. We spoke with Peter Tätgren when we played at Sweden Rock, and pretty much decided there on the spot.

Unfortunately, there are no UK dates on that tour. Are you trying to plan any UK dates in the near future?

We would really like to come to the UK as soon as possible, but as always it comes down to monetary issues.

What other countries/parts of the world would you love to play?

Everywhere. Where there is a CORRODED show going on, that is a good place to be.

Are you constantly writing new material or will you be waiting until the end of this touring cycle before coming up with ideas for your next album?

We are more or less constantly writing stuff, but we won’t do any recording until we feel that we have the time.

I’m sure you don’t want to wait a further five years before releasing another album so do you already have plans for when you would like to release a follow up or are you just going to see what happens next with ‘Defcon Zero’?

We have a couple of ideas, but nothing that we can be specific about for the time being.

The internet is now such an important tool for promoting a band and its music but it’s also a curse for illegal downloading so how do you budget how much to spend, for example, on a video or cover art knowing that some people will just download the album or individual songs for free?

That is something that our management and label takes care of.

Is there anything else you would like to add before we finish?

We are really looking forward to meet all of you out there on the road, but until we do….. Horns Up

I’d like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you for taking the time to chat to Ever Metal, continued good luck with ‘Defcon Zero’, it’s a great album, and I hope you can get over to UK shores soon because I for one will be there to see you!

Thank you!/Jens

There you have it! As mentioned in the interview, Corroded will be supporting Pain on their upcoming Mainland European Tour (Dates below) and if you get a chance to see them then please do! Since this interview was completed Corroded have also released ‘The Nevo Sessions’, a beautiful acoustic EP that should definitely be checked out as well! Jens may not be a man of many words but Corroded let the music do the talking and that is the most important thing!

Corroded tour date pic


Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Richard Tilley and Ever Metal.  It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of both parties.  Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Apocalypse Orchestra – The End is Nigh

The End Is Nigh Cover

Apocalypse Orchestra – The End is Nigh
Despotz Records
Release Date: 12/05/2017
Running time: 59:18
Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King

With one leg stuck in medieval times and the other in modern metal, Apocalypse Orchestra have produced a genre that could be almost entirely their own. Combining the tone of the hurdy-gurdy (a traditional violin-like stringed instrument) and bagpipes with heavy guitars, they have brought together music that had been separated for more than 800 years.

Hailing from Gävle in Sweden, Apocalypse Orchestra was formed in 2013 by musical partners in crime, Mikael Lindstrom and Erik Larsson, and inspired by their love of folk music and slow metal, they decided to combine the two. With a foundation of original music and lyrics, they have incorporated melodies from as far back as the 11th century with the band’s goal being to “create a musical homage to a bygone musical era.”

With a live show that features theatrical performances, fire and projected animation, the band have become one of the most talked about acts currently on the Swedish circuit, and lyrical themes range from the everyday toils of man in the dark ages, to art, science and literature to views of other world existence.

Recorded throughout the latter half of 2016, The End is Nigh is the band’s debut album and was released on Despotz Records on 12th May 2017. The drums were tracked at Studio Overlook by William Blackmon (Gadget, Beardfish, Isole) while the rest of the album was recorded at Studio Bordun by the band themselves. The album was mixed by Per Nilsson of Scar Symmetry and Zierler at Studi Kabyss and focuses on tales of the plague, hell and the meaninglessness of war and suffering.

Bagpipes kick off the album with the first single, The Garden of Earthly Delights, after which the band then crash into Pyre, a song about witch trials, The Spanish Inquisition and wrongful accusations whereas Exhale thinks about mankind’s mortality and fear of death. The album’s crescendo, Here Be Monsters “gazes into the far distant, across the sea, and into the abyss.”

Each track is above average in length, usually 7-8 minutes in length and the whole album is 59 minutes of epic folk and doom metal. Folk metal has always been a genre I had shied away from whereas I love the slow pace of doom, and this album perfectly combines the two. There is a progressiveness to their sound and this is seen in the excellent song writing and musicianship of each member of the band.

The vocals are clean and dark, almost chanting, and with the choral backing vocals, the whole album has a very melancholic mood and tone. It kind of reminds me of the 90’s band Enigma, if it has been “metalled” up somewhat.

This album is a re-working of a previous EP released in 2015, with the first four tracks being re-recordings, plus a further four new songs and as a debut I am thoroughly impressed.

This is a must have album for both doom lovers and folk fans alike and I, for one, can’t wait to see what the future holds for these guys!

1. The Garden of Earthly Delights
2. Pyre
3. Flagellants’ Song
4. Exhale
5. Theatre of War
6. The Great Mortality
7. To Embark
8. Here Be Monsters

Jonas Lindh – Guitars, mandola, backing vocals
Jimmy Mattsson – Bass, backing vocals
Andreas Skoglund – Drums and percussion, backing vocals
Mikael Lindström – Hurdy gurdy, bagpipes, rauschpfeife, backing vocals
Erik Larsson – Guitars, mandola, cittern, lead vocals


Promo Pic1

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dawn ‘The Metal Priestess’ King and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities