Monday, August 15, 2011

DALRIADA - Igeret CD review

Genre: Folk Metal
Rating: 5/5

Even for someone like me who considers himself some what up to speed on the all of the various bands out there who huddle under this genre I had to ask "Who?" Well thankfully after listening to this and reading up on this Hungarian Folk Metal act my ignorance has turned into an education. You see old wolves can learn about new bands. First off DALRIADA are not a new band at all. In fact they've been around quite some time. They originally started out as ECHO OF DALRIADA back in the late nineties playing some cool sounding epic folk metal. I went back and checked out their releases, 2004's Fergeteg and Jégbontó from 2006, both of which are equal to anything being produced today by their contemporaries in the genre. After that last release the band decided to shorten their name to simply DALRIADA mixing up their style of music and have released a full length every year with the exception of 2010. So this one here is their sixth full length and obviously the question bares asking why has a band like this which plays some decent sounding folk metal go unnoticed for so long? Unfortunately I really don't have an answer for that but I will suggest that maybe bad promotion out of their homeland could be the reason. Still with the explosion in popularity of the genre and European festivals dedicated to showcasing these types of bands I'm still at a lost for a true answer. Either way I have to appreciate a band who still stuck it out over the years getting little to no recognition while their contemporaries were getting glossy photo ops in the pages of major metal mags.

With all of that said I need to point out for those of you into the Paganfest (the lineups that play the states at least)variety of folk metal this one might not be your thing. Not only does DALRIADA sing in their native language, which I always appreciate with these types of bands, but their sound is steeped in the folk music of an Eastern European tradition. Yes there's plenty of melodic power metal running throughout but don't freak out when you hear the sound of a violin solo or a lute joining in. The obvious high part for me is vocalist Laura Binder who for the most part sings clean although she'll drop in a growl or two just to show she's not just a eye candy diva behind the mic. Binder's vocals are never in an angry or powerful style in fact she comes off sounding happy and having a blast. Sure it's folksy, soulful and pardon me, cheery, but I'm guessing when the music is blasting away she's up on stage head banging along to the riffs. Guitarist András Ficzek adds the masculine beastly sounding vocals at times that roughs things up and also keeps to the "beauty and beast" vocal formula. The songs all contain heavy crunchy riffs which within the folk structure keeps things catchy. It all kinda reminds me of a female fronted KORPIKLANNI minus all of the drinking songs. Then again I have no clue to what the songs are about. Ironically though Jonne Jarvela of KORPIKLANNI does get a guest spot sharing lead vocals with Binder on the final track.



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