Release: 15 January 2022
From time to time, there are some albums that lead us to reflect on how folk metal has evolved over the last few decades, branching out, merging with other styles and absorbing the most diverse influences. As lovers of this style, when meeting new bands, it is inevitable not to pay attention to the languages, cultures and contexts of origin of these groups. This made it possible to see almost everything, especially during the Folk Metal boom, when the style was among the most popular among heavy music fans: creative bands, exaggerated bands, comic bands, bands that touched our hearts and others that shouldn’t even have been formed.
These were some thoughts I had when listening to “T.S.N.R.I – Impermanenza”, the next album by the Italian sextet Duir. During its five tracks, the group presents its Folk/Black Metal loaded with inspiration, but which oscillates between natural highs and lows to a band that, formed in 2013, has in its curriculum only the demo “Tribe” (from 2014) and the EP “Obsidio” (2018).
After “Parerga”, narrated intro, with a keyboard touch to create the atmosphere of mystery, we have “Essere Dio”, with a sharp and accurate riff accompanied by the voice of Giovanni De Francesco, vocalist who does a good job, not only in this one track, as on the entire disc. However, it is also in this music that the main problem appears: production. Some instruments, especially the guitar, simply disappear, buried between the voice and keyboards. The same happens in some passages of “Cenere di Sogni”, where the harmonica’s shrill highs can disturb the listener who is using earphones at the highest volume.
A positive mark is the use of light passages in some tracks, providing a certain calm between heavier moments. It is exactly here that flutes and harmonica appear, as well as beautiful fingerings on the guitar. The guitar duo Mirko and Leonardo, by the way, works with harmony, without exaggerating the distortion or their solos. “Sentieri Non Tracciati” raises even more the respect generated so far by Geovani’s voice, with his throaty work extremely well, with the bass at the exact point.
Closing the record is “Solitudine”, a track that, over its more than ten minutes, has all the attributes described above about the other tracks: beautiful guitar, bass and drums intro working together with precision, maintaining speed and weight, but also knowing how to cadence the music at the right times. Synthesizers are also present in “Solitudine” and, although too loud in some parts, they help to bring a dramatic charge (in the best way) to the closing song.
Were it not for some details involving the production, “T.S.N.R.I – Impermanenza” would receive a higher score in this review. As a new band, Italians have started well, and can mature a lot over the course of their careers. If you’re a fan of Manegarm, Falkenbach, Gwydion, (Skyforger, maybe?) among other giants of the Folk/Black mix, I suggest you listen carefully to the album and don’t lose sight of Duir.
- Essere dio 07:06
- Cenere di sogni
- Sentieri non tracciati