Whispered - Metsutan - Songs Of The Void review



Reviewer:
8.5

140 users:
8.21
Band: Whispered
Album: Metsutan - Songs Of The Void
Release date: May 2016


01. Chi No Odori
02. Strike!
03. Exile Of The Floating World
04. Sakura Omen
05. Kensei
06. Our Voice Shall Be Heard
07. Tsukiakari
08. Warriors Of Yama
09. Victory Grounds Nothing
10. Bloodred Shores Of Enoshima
    1 - Gozuryu
    2 - The Chord Of A Goddess
    3 - Divine Affection
    4 - The Fury Of The Five


Finland surpasses every other country on earth in producing folk metal, now to such a fantastic extent that the Finns are taking over for other countries that don't produce enough folk metal bands of their own. For those of you unfamiliar with Whispered, this quartet deals in electrifying extreme power metal merged with traditional Japanese elements, like a colder, more calculated version of Chthonic,* or a Japanophile Winter-san.

Whispered tends to stutter through songs in short, staccato bursts, with the guitars especially jerking around very frequently; while this stylistic choice does not necessarily detract from the individual songs, and in fact brings a feeling of death metal to the extreme power template, the disjuncture makes it somewhat difficult to grasp the album as a coherent unit. Metsutan takes some time to warm up, and the best tracks by far can be found in the aft section, but once "Our Voice Shall Be Heard" kicks in, the album leaps forward significantly. "Tsukiakari" goes further in improving the album; after a rather mechanical intro, the song slowly builds into a magnificent, mid-paced crusher with tasteful keyboards and well-mediated melody lines.

I'd wager that Metsutan contains the most Japanese folk elements of any Whispered album, and these elements don't mesh perfectly with the rest of Whispered's sound; the styles of instrumentation often clash and the folk-inspired melodies tend to stack on top of the metallic frame rather than complement it. Moreover, the "instruments" often sound plastic and flat, which does detract from the effect. I get the feeling, though, that this band isn't out to be a totally authentic project rigidly faithful to musical tradition, and the cocktail of genres is not the trainwreck I may have insinuated. If the members of Whispered wanted to, they could very obviously record an exceptional extreme power metal album that would have us all pining for early Ensiferum or Children Of Bodom - but that would be boring. Those bands already exist, and Whispered is out to have fun as well as to shred, so why not get a little silly with the keyboard patches?

While layering on the levels of folk too thickly could be detrimental (after all, a novelty is only a novelty for so long), Whispered has always been very smart about limiting the use of overtly traditional elements and balancing all the aspects of its sound. Each song, at its core, is strong enough and interesting enough to command respect, and the undoubtedly synthesized faux-shamisen/koto/other-repurposed-Chinese-stringed-instrument effects, even if they do sound tacked-on, make the music a lot more fun and original. "Our Voice Shall Be Heard" mixes the two sides of Whispered better than the other tracks, building up a skin-shearing atmosphere with afternoon-at-the-dojo gang vocals, ghostly wind instruments, and some tight, majestic lead guitar work that reminds us that Whispered is, again, more than just a blank slate with some new sounds sprinkled on top. "Victory Grounds Nothing" feels like the opening to the next season of Attack On Titan, and I absolutely have no problem with that.

Overall, it seems as though Whispered has found its most productive combination of sounds in Metsutan. I'm comfortable with the amount of folk elements present on Metsutan, and I hope that Whispered continues to expertly moderate its variety of styles on future releases; the songs themselves possess gravitas enough to firmly ground the album and make it Whispered's strongest to date.

* Also, yes, I know that Chthonic isn't Japanese. None of these bands is. It's fine.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Production: 7


 



Written on 24.06.2016 by Reviewing since 2010. Reviewing competently since ____. More metal than you since before the dawn of 'istry.


Comments

Comments: 12   Visited by: 226 users
24.06.2016 - 19:42
Apothecary
PsyCHEdelic
Well this sounds damn interesting. At the end of the day, I'd probably prefer Japanese folk to be blended with black metal or some sort of ambient music before anything else, ya know, for a more ritualistic effect, but I suppose fusing it with power metal couldn't be all that bad. It'd still probably be pretty epic, just from a different perspective. Will get on this within the next few days, thanks for the review
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Written by RaduP on 14.01.2016 at 02:08

So you're not actually a bearded shaman opening his third eye through music?
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24.06.2016 - 19:53
Karlabos
Weirdo of MS
Written by Apothecary on 24.06.2016 at 19:42

At the end of the day, I'd probably prefer Japanese folk to be blended with black metal or some sort of ambient music before anything else, ya know, for a more ritualistic effect

Here you are.
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2016

2017
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24.06.2016 - 19:56
Apothecary
PsyCHEdelic
Written by Karlabos on 24.06.2016 at 19:53

Here you are.

Eyyy, thanks lookin out, my man. And a release from this year too, I see. Potentially a good addition for my list
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Written by RaduP on 14.01.2016 at 02:08

So you're not actually a bearded shaman opening his third eye through music?
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25.06.2016 - 01:33
Hellcult
To me it sound more like a death metal with some power metal and folk metal influences
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And I see the blade fall down upon the head of lord in heaven
And Darkness falls upon the end of history
While I drink the milk of the Black Goddess and cry over the mankind

Black Moses is my name...
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25.06.2016 - 04:10
flightoficarus
Stamp Tramp
Glad I wasn't the only one who thoroughly enjoyed this.
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Daily underground metal recommendations at Metal Trenches.
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25.06.2016 - 10:44
mikeprado30
Great album indeed!
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BARDS WE ARE, BARDS WE WILL BE!
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25.06.2016 - 21:13
The Underdog
Was better than I expected, nice samurai theme as well... something you don't often see in metal music.
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27.06.2016 - 01:20
Susan
Smeghead
Dude, your first sentence, I love it

And I may steal the phrase "cocktail of genres." Very nice.
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"A life all mine
Is what I choose
At the end of my days"
--The Gathering "A Life All Mine" from Souvenirs
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27.06.2016 - 02:11
ScreamingSteelUS
Agent of Steel
Written by Susan on 27.06.2016 at 01:20

Dude, your first sentence, I love it

And I may steal the phrase "cocktail of genres." Very nice.

I'm pretty sure I stole that phrase from somewhere else, so feel free to continue the cycle.
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Row, row, fight the power
Djently down the stream

I wonder how you will defend your ludicrous assertions.
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05.07.2016 - 17:55
Bad English
Masterchief
Written by Susan on 27.06.2016 at 01:20

Dude, your first sentence, I love it

And I may steal the phrase "cocktail of genres." Very nice.


Finland is metal NATO lol

well somehow one , two bands would do and wortk fine, but if we go to land of the rising sun and japs would have 20 bands what would play finnish folk metal, it wont work, as Viigo Wilson from Denish Town said in Msv2 why not bushmen and local folk metal, folk metal purpose is be local
But 1-2-3 bands can work fine

Good jon Screaming Steel US sun
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Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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05.07.2016 - 19:00
Cynic Metalhead
Atrocious Virgin
Terrific review.

Goes into my '16 list. Definitely checking it out.
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23.10.2016 - 04:16
AngelofDeth
Cyborg Raptor
Nice review. Pretty much sums up my thoughts on the album.

It's their best work to date and I'm enjoying the hell out of it but I still couldn't help but feel like there was just some 'x factor' missing for Whispered to live up to the full potential of their unique sound. But I think you state it here: maybe that 'x factor' is, as you say, that their blend of sounds is not always seamless but instead somewhat tacked together... maybe their next album will be the one where everything finally clicks just right...

Either way I'm happy enough with what we got - this album is easily in my top 3 releases of the year.
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pewpew.. gotcha
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