In a distant Slavic land, a fire can be seen high upon the mountain. As one draws closer, the melody of a female angelic voice, a violin and tambourine can be heard faintly in the distance. You move closer to the sound, it intrigues you, stirs thoughts and emotions within your mind and soul. As you approach, the band Lysa Gora enchants you with their music and stories. You sit and talk about their music and other things….
Following the release of Cruachan’s new album we reached out to the band about their new release, and the information about their current works, stories about their collaborations, and side efforts followed.
We saw a huge amount of releases in 2022, as bands came out of the isolation of Covid-19 to record together again and show the world that you can’t silence the metal. Månegarm was one of those bands and what a release they gave us. “Ynglingaättens öde” was named Best Album of 2022 on folk-metal.nl and it is a pleasure to interview a band I have followed since 2015. Månegarm’s inception was in 1995, and has provided some awesome metal over the past twenty-eight years.
After five years since their much-acclaimed album ‘Vuur van Verzet’, Dutch folk metal collective Heidevolk return with their seventh studio album via Napalm Records, continuing to keep the pagan flame burning! Ever since their impressive 2005 debut, De strijdlust is geboren, Heidevolk has taken the heavy music scene by storm, conquering stages throughout the world with their very own brand of folk metal. With dual clean vocals, irresistibly catchy songs, traditional instruments and fast metal riffing all fueled by their folkloric fire and pagan pride, Heidevolk delivers for an uncompromising sound and musical adventure. Their new masterpiece, ‘Wederkeer’, makes no exception, and proves why the Arnhem-based five-piece is one of the best, unrivaled and most exciting bands of their genre and beyond!
Congratulations on your latest release “Reader of the Runes –Rapture”. My first experience with your music was back in 2015 when I found “Era” at my local record store. I picked it up and found the cover was intriguing. I also saw Jon Oliva was a guest vocalist on the song, “I am the monster”. Since then I have been following the band and the music and I find it a great honor to interview you.
Thanks for agreeing to do the interview. Congratulations on your 2022 latest release “Njord” My first experience with your music was back in 2017 when I found “Fan Fryslâns ferline” online streaming. Since then I have been following the band and the music and I find it a great honor to interview you. I must admit, there is very little about the band itself posted on the internet.
The Real McKenzies is a Canadian Celtic punk band founded in 1992 and based in Vancouver, British Columbia. Paul McKenzie is the founding member and the band is credited as the cornerstone of the Celtic punk movement. In addition to writing and performing original music, The Real McKenzies perform traditional Scottish songs, often infusing them with a punk-influenced sound. They have shared stages with many other bands inside and outside of their genre including Rancid, Shane MacGowan, NOFX, Flogging Molly, The Misfits, Metallica just to name a few. They are hard working as a band in studio and out of the studio, constantly touring and sharing their music with others (as well as a drink or two, three, four!)
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’.