Traveling in Crimfall’s folk music

Symphonic Power/Viking/Folk Metal band from Helsinki, Finland

Thinking about metal could easily make someone guess all the music is the same: just a noisy bunch of disasters with no sense of rhythm or proposal. Although there are some mediocre bands that fills the description, there are a few that can combine such a mess with actual music to create an unique sound that remembers medieval glory and high fantasy adventures. Such is the case of the Finnish band Crimfall. Their epic lyrics and auditive carnage makes them a valuable addition in the buying list of any metal fan with good taste, although theirs is a road with big ups and downs.

With their first demo, BURNING WINDS, released in 2008, Crimfall marked a very personal style mixing folk rhythms and Celtic influences with black metal, along with clean female and harsh male vocals, to present an atmosphere rather interesting. The CD presents a different side of the band in each of the three tracks that it’s made from. However, it bothered me that the second song, “Where Waning Winds Lead,” which also was the one I liked the most, was really similar to Nightwish’s “Over the Hills and Far Away,” at the point of losing its magic once the listener sees the similitudes.

The next year, Crimfall show a more mature and interesting sound when they release their debut album, AS THE PATH UNFOLDS. Their proposal has evolved to become a musical version of the Arthurian well-known legends, heavily heavily based on Celtic mythology with small hints of their initial black metal style in all of their tracks. Instrumental tracks add a curious enchant to the whole record, such is the case of “Neothera Awakening”,  ferociously fighting for the place of best song with the epic fantasy of “Where Waning Winds Lead” and the Middle Eastern touched “Ascension Pyre.” Such variety makes this an even more interesting album, although the initial impression gets lost.

However, their second album, THE WRIT OF SWORD, released in 2011, gives much importance to the music itself, forgetting about vocals and lyrics, this second aspect being the most negatively affected. “Shackles Of The Moirai”  could be a saved track because of the briefly recovered balance in the whole song, but the many experiments in the next ones makes this a single jewel in a musical disappointment. To be fair, I’ll admit that the orchestral influences make good balance with the death metal touches, which are still trying to find a proper shape and place in the disc. Good idea and interesting work, but not the one you expect after their previous releases.

AMAIN, the band’s upcoming third album, is set to be released this August 25th, with three already revealed tracks, among which we can find the disc’s first album, “Until Falls the Rain,” that proves a real evolution in the band with a return to the band’s roots, along with a strong vein for power and melodic death metal. AMAIN is available for preorder in Metal Blade’s website, along with some merchandise their hardcore fans will love.

Alan D.D.
Writer and Journalist.

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