I’m sure that after experiencing the latest offerings from Elvenking and Eluveitie, the last thing many of you are looking for is more acoustic folk metal. Although I’ve only heard the latter and therefore cannot comment on the former, I feel confident in saying that you should make room on your plate for Storm, the first full-length album from Sweden’s Fejd.
When you first hear the acoustics and folk instrumentations, you may think to yourself, “OK, this is either an introductory piece or a quirky album opener.” Then suddenly, “Svanesang” kicks in and you realize that this is for real: woodland, campfire folk music that somehow qualifies as metal without having any discernible elements of the genre. On its own, that song rocks just as much as any electric guitar-soaked huumpaa I’ve heard. Most of the tracks maintain that raucous vibe to varying degrees, including “Vid Jore A” and “Bergakungen.” Another good example is “Skuld” which at times almost sounds like a battle hymn.
Alternately, you get slower, darker tracks like the back-to-back “Varg I Veum” and “Aril,” which are good in their own right but do tend to drag things down from the upbeat tempos prevalent on the rest of the album. There are a couple of instrumentals thrown in as well, which most closely resemble the material on The Arcane Dominion, and seem to serve mostly to break up the flow a bit, but in a good way.
It’s times like this that I wish I could discern the sounds of Bouzouki, Swedish Bagpipe, Jew’s Harp, Hurdy-Gurdie, Cow Antler, Recorder, Willow-pipe, and Moraharpa (Keyed Fiddle) from one another. The band claims all in their arsenal and it would be nice to point out how each one adds to the vibe, not to mention to pick a favorite so that I could learn one and join a folk metal band myself one day. But I digress…
Fejd have produced a real fun record here with only a couple of low points. I will concede that their acoustic/bard stylings are the kind of thing that may wear thin after awhile, but I haven’t reached that point yet and am not looking that far ahead. I’m just going to enjoy Storm for as long as I can and hope that you will to. After all, how could one possibly resist a band that includes “Cow Antler” among their instruments?