Release: 27 February 2015
First things first, Finland’s Antti Martikainen is an incredible musician and has created 6 epic (and I mean epic) albums in a multitude of styles (Celtic, Sci-Fi, Adventure, etc). By the way, Antti Martikainen is a single person, not a band so if you start really listening to it and think one person put all of this together I am sure you will be even more impressed with the composition he creates.
Released earlier this year, “Throne Of The North” is 90+ minutes of a combination of Nordic/Celtic and Slavic themed instrumentals which are very symphonic and slightly folk metal based…..I think it reminds me of Equilibrium or Eluveitie mixed with some progressive symphonic metal or new age……think of a heavier Yanni maybe? Whether you would call this “Soundtrack Music” or not is debatable as it does remind me a lot of works by John Williams, James Horner and Basil Poledouris who are all well known for their epic soundtracks but with a little more of a metal feel. I may be biased (in fact I know I am) when it comes to listening to instrumental music of any kind as I will always try to compare to old Mortiis (yes before the techno stuff) who still to this day created the greatest/darkest instrumental compositions of all time. I think I was hoping for something to change mood wise here which it does to a certain extent but the tracks here don’t transport me away like Mortiis does. Sound quality wise and musicianship wise, Antii Martikainen probably has very little competition.
I think I am looking for a little more diversity or mood changes to tell more of a story with the tracks here. Maybe a few shorter tracks or vocals would have given this a little more texture and broken it up a little more as it starts to run together and at 90+ minutes, there is definitely a need for a break or two. Is there anyone out there who is a fan of Dragonforce? I think Antti Martikainen reminds me of how I feel about them……I certainly appreciate their incredible musicianship but don’t really get into what they do. If you like epic soundtracks like “Excalibur”, “Conan” and any of the LOTR movies, anything that Antti Martikainen does will certainly slide next to those on your shelf….whether or not you will get your folk metal fix without the vocals and all that I guess would be up to the individual…definitely worth checking out for sure….
- From the Fields of Gallia 07:20
- Runestones 07:18
- A Forgotten Kingdom 05:55
- Valiant Heart 05:44
- Pathway to Glory 06:53
- Dragoncrest 08:09
- Battleworn 05:40
- Homecoming 04:59
- Winter’s Legacy 05:44
- The Heart of Wilderness 08:40
- Vale of a Thousand Rivers 05:35
- Rise to Åsgard 08:12
- Throne of the North 10:55