Italian folk/power metal SpellBlast hails from Bergamo, an Italian city northeast of Milan, in the Lombardy region. Born in 1999, they have released four full length albums with a new album ‘Classified – V’ due out soon. ‘Horns of Silence’, their debut album, was released in 2006 and involved some folk influences with lyrical themes inspired by fantasy tales and J.R.R. Tolkien references. In 2010, ‘Battlecry’ was released with themes involving ancient Norse mythology. ‘Nineteen’ was released in 2014, and the band took to executing a crowdfunding campaign, thus creating a concept album based on the Stephen King book ‘The Dark Tower’ saga. The album took previous folk themes and morphed them into more of an “old west” direction. The last album, released in 2018 titled ‘Of Gold and Guns’ brought us another concept album. The band chose to keep the old west direction, but using legends and references to figures that helped shape the old west in the United States. Spellblast has had some notable guests on some of their releases, such as, Elvenking’s singer, Damnagoras, as well as Fabio Lione from fellow Italian power metal band Rhapsody of Fire.
Varang Nord is a folk metal band from the cold woods of Latvia. Founded in 2014, their music combines death metal riffs with epic lyrical themes and accordion accompaniment. Lyrical themes reference Nordic culture, mighty battles, sacrifices to the Old Gods and festivities involving pints of ale. One of their crowning achievements has been winning the Wacken Metal Battle in 2019, just before Covid -19 ravaged the world. In 2021, their album ‘Pārķiuņa Uomurs’ was nominated as ‘Global Metal Release of the Year’. The album was produced by the band and recorded at their personal studio. Mixing and mastering was by Gints Lundbergs at Latvian Sound Division Studio.
Mandragora Thuringia was founded in 2008 as a cover band and at that time, in its infancy, they did a lot of musical exploring, being influenced by bands like Alestorm, Korpiklaani and Sabaton. The band really began to take off in 2016 with independently releasing their first EP “Mandragora Erwacht” (Mandragora Awakens) that brought forth some live shows which saw the band gain some fan base and popularity. In 2019 they released ‘Der Vagabund’, and had shows planned to support the new release when the global pandemic hit and brought things to a sudden stop as with most musicians. While a lot of newly formed bands gave up and parted ways, Mandragora Thuringia went into overdrive mode writing new songs and used the time to write the new album “Rex Silvarum’.
Rating: 8/10 Release: 4 November 2022 Label: MDD Records Mandragora Thuringia (definition: the Latin name ‘Mandragora’ for mandrake which bridges humans and nature) is a fairly new band in the folk metal scene with their debut album ‘Der Vagabund’ (2019). 2022 brings us a new release “Rex Silvarum’ (King of …Continue reading →
Rating: 8/10 Release: 21 October 2022 Label: Inverse Records Folkrim, which was founded in 2020 hail from Finland, the glorious land of a thousand lakes, ice and satisfying beverage, have released a follow-up to 2021’s ‘Tales of Tumult’ EP. We see a slight change in the new full length, not in …Continue reading →
Rating: 8/10 Release: 17 September 2022 Label: Independent In September 2022, Folk Metal band from Sweden has released a new EP ‘Heavenly Demons’, which is the follow up to their full length 2021 release, ‘The Formorian Horde’. It should be noted that ‘The Formorian Horde’ was voted Best Debut Album …Continue reading →
Rating: 8/10 Release: 2 September 2022 Label: Independent Just a few hundred miles from where I sit penning this review is a band who takes power/symphonic/folk metal to a whole new level. The band I am talking about is Aeternam. I came across this band back in 2017 and found …Continue reading →
Rating: 7/10 Release: 5 August 2022 Label: Napalm Records I stated last time when reviewing the Tyr live album that I am not a huge fan, however in the rare instance, there is a certain magic captured during the recording. Sometimes the songs played are not ones I would choose, …Continue reading →
Rating: 9/10 Release: 24 June 2022 Label: Season of Mist Andy Marshall is back, and the only word to describe his new release under the SAOR moniker is… genius! A unique and hybrid blend of atmospheric black and folk metal, Origins is six tracks, composed and thoughtfully written to take …Continue reading →
Rating: 9/10 Release: 10 June 2022 Label: Napalm Records What do you get if Blind Guardian married Ensiferum and had an affair with Sabaton? The short answer is you would get a five piece bunch of Dwarves from Pisa, Italy named WindRose. “Warfront” is the follow up to the well …Continue reading →