Release: 29 September 2023
Label: Independent / Bandcamp
Ilmarinen is a big, six-member Dutch folk metal band in a traditional sense, and “Gold” is a very short, two-song EP. It appears to be their third release and a marked improvement over their earlier works: the editing is a lot better, and the whole sound is cleaner. The band is a standard metal arrangement with harsh vocals, and an added violin and keyboard. There’s not a huge body of work to discover here, but their first album was live and their second album had a garage feel to it, so we’re in much better territory here.
The music is bouncy and fun: there’s a lot of energy! The execution and editing is nearly flawless, but I’m not a fan of the songwriting. “Gold” (refrain includes “We just ask for one thing: Give us all your gold.”) and “Bier Drinken en Kut Roepen” (“Beer Drinking and Pussy Calling”) carries the vibe of the fluff that pirate metal bands add to albums when they can’t think of anything else to write.
That said, this little EP is solid. The tracks aren’t long but still give the guitar, violin and keyboard-accordion time to breathe and show off. The vocals, while harsh, are still decipherable and given some time, I could see myself singing along to “Gold”. The format and style really lends itself well to live performances, and, at the time of writing, I’m glad to see that they have some coming up in the future.
Ilmarinen and “Gold” are a lot of fun, and they show a hell of a lot of promise. It’s less than ten minutes of music, but it’s worth the €2. They’re active and maintain a fun social media presence. Check ’em out!
- Bier Drinken en Kut Roepen