|Vesperia - Voyage From Vinland
8 January 2011
01. Voyage From Vinland
02. Send Of The War Summons
03. When The Legends Die
04. Risen Victorious
05. Our Land, Our Seas, Our Skies
06. Pints Held High
07. O' Hail To The Northlander
08. Throne Of Storms
09. A Silence Prolonging
10. Way To Forgotten Lands
11. Sworn Under Winter's Majesty/Onward We March
I remember the first time I heard a folk metal song. There were explosions of endorphins, my spine quivered, and it was as if the Greybeards themselves were communicating with me...
No, but seriously? I was sitting in an algebra class, my buddy played an Ensiferum track for me, and I thought it was pretty fucking stupid.
That said, a couple weeks passed and I kept returning to that song (pretty sure it was "Into Battle"). Ended up getting kinda into it. A little more time passed, I bought an Ensiferum album and a druid wizard staff. Considered myself an aficionado.
Fast forward a few years. Now I don't know where I stand with the genre. There are definitely a handful of badass bands from it, it's just, there's a titanic load of groups around now that expect to develop a following by having us listen to them gaze backward toward viking times, drooling, with a chubby, blow on some recorders and play some really basic heavy/power metal.
This is somewhere in the middle. Take out the folkish, synthy melodies, and, yeah, its songs would suck. Just happens that the actual blend on this is, more or less, passable. It's fun enough. Think (the indefatigable) Blackguard meets some lost Ensiferum b-sides. There's nothing particularly interesting or unique about what these guys do, but I'm sure their stuff can make for some decent "let's get stupid drunk" listening every now and then.
The musicianship on this is definitely really good too. The vocalists are great, the guitarist(s) shred(s), etc. Some real folk instruments would have been a worthwhile addition, but the synth-dude has chops, so can't complain too much. What's a pretty major piss-off for me though has to do with the double bass work. Something's wrong with it. Can't tell if it was a mixing problem, a problem with some computer shit, or something to do with triggers, but it sounds pretty fucking weak most of the time.
But overall, the biggest problem with this is that it came out feeling like a fence-sitter of an album. Put it on and you'll probably get your kicks, but it's not quite epic and fantastical enough, nor is it quite aggressive and thrashy enough. The dudes in Bolero know how to write catchy tunes, they just didn't hit on anything very memorable with this. This brand of viking/folk has been done a lot now. Takes more than some solid hooks and some shredding to stick out.
Written on 18.11.2011 by
Wormdrink's real name is George and he's an American.