01. Intro (Felcsíki lassú csárdás) 02. A Dudás 03. Tündérkert 04. Napom, Fényes Napom 05. Napisten Hava 06. Julianus Útja 07. Puszta Föld 08. Hunyadi és Kapisztrán Nándorfehérvári Diadaláról (Saltarello) 09. Hírhozó 10. Borivók Éneke 11. A Juhászlegény Balladája 12. Outro (Gyimesi)
The key to any truly successful folk metal album is balance. An accord must be established between all the elements utilised to give the metal base any sense of an authentic folk aesthetic. And this works both ways; so too this aesthetic needs to affix itself to a strong heart of metal. However it's what a band do once they hold this key that really matters; what they produce once the folk to metal equilibrium has been achieved. The doors unlocked with this key will ideally lead to memorable experiences.
Dalriada holds this key and the balance is well established on their latest and seventh release Napisten Hava. They turn the key, unlock the door and within lies a roaring hearth of folk metal. There is a solidarity to both performance and songwriting that is well versed and which speaks of much experience in playing this style of music. The introductory "Felcsíki lassú csárdás" is a short piece with a welcoming spontaneity about it and once it beckons you to the heat of the fire the frivolity begins.
The album as a whole is vivacious as each track offers its own variant on the folk dance taking place around the warm hearth of metal. Hungarian minstrels sing along primarily utilising a feminine/masculine combination of the clean variety. Keyboards make briefly punctuated appearances as the triumphant hammering of drumwork works to create an epically percussive rhythm. The guitar work is rarely possessive of much diversity but stacks plenty of fuel on the fire to prevent loss of energy.
The album sacrifices variance for an unimpeachable consistency though it does add occasionally clear distinctions such as the orchestration of the final track "A Juhászlegény Balladája" or the initial riff in "Hírhozó." Differences between each song are made more discernible through the more diverse folk instrumentation and piano supplements. While there isn't much of an atmosphere to speak of a constant delivery of strong folk melodies make the listening experience an easy one.
Albums this consistent aren't all that easy to come by in the genre and this fine piece of folk metal is one that clearly exhibits Dalriada's experienced musicianship.
I agree that this album is balanced. It is also very good and never goes overboard on anything. It's the first album I listened to from this band and I'm glad I did.
You're right there, they have total control over their sound I think, which helps a bunch to keep things in that balance for the whole thing. Only other album I've heard from them is "Jegbontu", which from what I remember has the same kind of consistency.