Release: 1 November 2011
Label: Spinefarm Records
The guys of Metsatöll don’t sit on their hands. They release their 10th album this year, it’s ‘Ulg’ entitled, (The Howl. But if it’s related to the bands name which is Estonian for Wolf, is not clear.
The album is made at very high speed, the track are mostly done in one session, but maybe they should have taken a little bit more time. It starts with an intro (Agu) which lasts too long. The album really takes off at the second half of track 2. That’s a pity, a bad start like this. But when they have taken off, it’s indeed really taken off. The well-known bass riffs, a perfect balance between wind- and electric instruments and the Estonian vocals. Fortunately they’ve learned from the previous album, ‘Aio. The vocals are clearer then ever, but that doesn’t mean it’s brilliant everywhere.
Further on I stumble on the song ‘Kivine Maa’. It looks like the song is about a call to battle, but since we didn’t get further info on the tracks, we have to keep guessing about the lyrics and ideas behind the songs. How nice it may sound, when I don’t get the clue of a song, I don’t like it as much.
‘Rabakkanel’ starts off a lot heavier than the other song, but that’s not a bad thing, when the song develops it becomes more melodic.
Most of the tracks are recorded in one session, this results in something special. Metsatöll sounds mainly as one tight unit, and also the structure of the album is very sound.
I have to mention ‘Eha’. This is a very quiet acoustic track and a very nice final for this album. It shows Metsatöll has more in stock than the usual songs.
It remains an unanswered question if ‘Ulg’ exceeds ‘Aio’, but I leave this to the listener to decide. But the album is a nice complement to the Metsatöll collection for sure.
The band gains a bonus point for the, like always, very special cover art. This is a beautiful style of drawing.
- Agu (Daybreak)
- Sõjasüda (Warheart)
- Küü (Serpent)
- Muhu õud (Muhu Dread)
- Kivine maa (Land Full of Stones)
- Rabakannel (Bog-harp)
- Isata (Fatherless)
- Kahjakaldad (Sacrificial Shores)
- Tormilind (Shearwater)
- Ulg (The Howl)
- Eha (Dusk)