Metsatöll - Iivakivi review
|Release date:||February 2008|
01. Iivakivi (The Fertility Stone)
02. Merehunt (Seawolf)
03. Hetk Enne Lahingut (The Moment Before Battle)
04. Sõjasarv (The Battle Horn)
05. Veelind (Birds From Water)
06. Isa Süda (Father's Heart)
07. Metsaviha 3 (Woodwrath 3)
08. Rauast Sõnad (Words Of Iron)
09. Va Lendva (Witching Arrow)
10. Äikesepoeg (Son Of Thunder)
Metsatöll's debut album was a raw and ugly piece of music. But It was, in all it's dreadfulness, and despite the horrible sound a truly and utterly captivating album. Metsatöll has come a long way since then - they've improved their sound, enriched it with a wide array of traditional instruments and have become one of the most commercially successful Estonian metal acts.
Still, despite their local cult status and improved performance, I find that I've grown apart from the band. This may be due to me steering clear of the entire folk metal scene or the fact that at one point in my life I may have received a serious Metsatöll-overdose. Whatever the case, I didn't even flinch upon hearing the news about the imminent release of their third LP. However, as fate would have it, I could not evade this album - so what's up?
„Iivakivi" uses roughly the same formula as it's predecessor - technical guitars and intricate drumming accompanied by a natural sounding clean vocal and and an abundance of traditional instruments - and it still works. As far as composing goes, most of the songs sound good and have plenty of intriguing twists and turns. Naturally, the folk interludes are still there, „Veelind" and „Metsaviha III" being excellent examples here. In contrast to the dominant faster paced songs, Metsatöll breaks things down with a superb „Isa süda" - a cacophonic mosh-masterpiece. In fact, everything on this record truly does sound great, it's all fantastic. It's brilliant, even. And yet you don't see me prancing about the meadows, yelling „horsies!"
There is something missing here, something I can't quite put my finger on. Sure, „Iivakivi" is the creation of a matured and evolved Metsatöll, thus sounding more professional than ever before. What it lacks however, is magic, I guess. I'm talking about the same simple ingredient that compensated for all the flaws the debut album had and which gave „Hiiekoda" that epic feel. But despite the somewhat generic approach, I reckon this album will probably make a lot of fans happy and in the end that's what really matters.
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