Sowulo – ‘Sol’ (2016)

By: Jeff
Rating: 8/10
Release: 17 |December 2016
Label: Independent

I predicted at some point that acoustic/traditional was going to be a “big thing” in 2017. On the heels of amazing albums from Wardruna and Eliwagar comes a 2nd album from the NL’s Sowulo entitled “Sol” (“Sun”). While there is no metal of any sort on here, there is no doubt that it is primarily an instrumental folk album of the highest caliber.
There are a total of 13 tracks on here with some that appeared on their previous album, 2013’s “Alvenrad” (“Beltane”, “Ostara”, “Imbolc” and “Yule”) with a total running time of 50 minutes or so. The tracks average about 4 minutes in length or so which is perfect for their style with acoustic guitar, hammered dulcimer, flute and fiddle being the primary instruments (possibly others?) with subtle percussion (Bodhran?) and chanting vocals mixed in. I am a huge fan of instrumental music of all sorts and this is my favorite category, traditional folk with some modern touches such as keys and drums. I would say that Eliwagar and Idis Orlog would possibly be the closest acts that we have reviewed on here that would be comparable to the Sowulo style.
The tracks may not hit you with the force of some of the folk metal albums you are all fans of, but I think the overall impact is still as intense in invoking the spirits of our ancestors and honoring the old ways. There is an ease about this album which I think you will “feel” more than “hear” as the songs do have a subliminal and introspective style to allow your mind to wander. The mix and productions are relatively stark as they should be with the overall sound being natural and not overly modernized. A beautifully crafted album “Sol” should be one of the albums you listen to if you want to truly connect to what once was, being honored and held sacred, another great album from Sowulo.

Tracklist
1. Noodlot Proloog 4:13
2. Ginnungagap 4:13
3. Sköll 4:13
4. Beltane 3:23
5. Ostara 3:52
6. Dageraad 3:09
7. Imbolc 3:58
8. Yule 5:22
9. Sol 4:40
10. Mabon 3:18
11. Lammas 3:27
12. Arvakr 3:35
13. Alsvidr 3:28

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