Label: Sound Age Productions - SAPCD308 • Format: CD Album, Limited Edition • Country: Russia • Genre: Rock • Style: Folk Metal
Best viewed without Internet Explorer, in x resolution or higher. Svartby have in the past been derided as simply another derivative folk metal by-the-numbers band, a kind of budget Finntroll. On this, their third full-length, they have finally begun to answer some of those critics, and though Elemental Tales will win Starbirth - Quadra - First Contact awards for originality, it is the work of a band that is at last showing some desire to branch out and forge their own path.
Gone are the broken Swedish lyrics, replaced instead with broken English. It's a start at least. Their previous EP, Scum from Underwaterhad been a small hint that change was afoot, though I dared not get my hopes up too much for this release.
I needn't have worried, because in Elemental Tales all the positive signs from Scum from Underwater have been realised in long-play format. The rip-roaring 'Flaming Balls' encapsulates perfectly the great things about this album. It doesn't let up for a second, grabbing the listener by the balls and yanking them repeatedly for three minutes.
It's a breathless whirligig of noise that simply refuses to slow down and demonstrates the very best of Svartby. The album seems to lose some of its momentum on some of its slower and midpaced tracks, such as 'Sleepy Devils' and 'Ash and Dust', and though it's commendable that Svartby have been trying to add a bit of variety to their repertoire, this is not an area in which they naturally seem to excel.
Musically this is all very familiar fare, mixing typically bombastic folkish melodies with Bodom-esque metal and it rarely Svartby - Elemental Tales from this tried and tested style. Most of the songs are catchy and easy to follow for example, the excellent 'Done with the Wind'which makes this the ideal album if familiarity and comfort is all you require of an album, but if it's a challenging listen you're seeking you won't find it here. A further word of warning: a sense of humour and a pretty childish one at Linda - Daniel Santos - Linda is required to really enjoy this album.
Elemental Tales is a fun album to listen to, and if that's all you're after it will serve you well, but if you're looking for a deeper, more nuanced folk metal experience, you'd do well to look elsewhere.
Who out there is a fan of, or at least is You Cant Always Keep The Ones You Love - Various - Great Voices Vol.
1 of, bands in a particular style or scene that just lets it all hang out in terms of overdoing it? Both the accidental and the humorously intentional? Sure, there are probably other folk bands out there Svartby - Elemental Tales overdo things just a tad, but do they do so with such an overt sense of mirth and a seemingly general idea on how far things have gone?
That's what this reviewer gets from "Elemental Tales"; joviality, extremity, and some of the bounciest and fluffiest melodies this side of the lushest of forests. Throw in some brutal thrash tendencies and, before you know Svartby - Elemental Tales , the fun factor is all the more augmented for the better. There's still a good portion of the music that is to be taken seriously, obviously, but the central theme of it all is just as ridiculous as the cover art which, I'd like to say, is one of the best covers I'd seen for an album in quite a long timewhich, both literally and figuratively, tickle this listener's funny bone.
Throughout this jaunt, I was baffled, amused, bemused, beside myself, and just drawn in to the whole spectacle of "Elemental Tales", sensations I hadn't felt in a new record in quite a while, now. For all I know, it was all that inundation of Svartby - Elemental Tales and albums trying The Message - Deez Nuts - Word is Bond hard to make themselves cock of the block, but I'll tell you this; that rare occasion where you just want to have fun and enjoy yourself could mean more in the long run, especially in terms of an album's shelf life.
The beauty Firstborn Son - Mistur - In Memoriam this kinda thing? Each track plays on its own strength with nary a weak spot on the album to find. OK, well there's the occasional song that isn't as grand as Svartby - Elemental Tales , but given enough time it worms its way into your ears and sticks around before you even realize it's done so.
Relying on addictive hooks to get your attention, the flittering of symphonic keyboards, destructive guitar riffs, excitable drum work and Svartby - Elemental Tales growls come together with potent songwriting and a sense of togetherness, presenting strong, solid performances that don't BS yet expects a grain of salt to be taken with regards to their sense of extreme silliness.
And the way things are presented in songs like "Scum from Underwater", "Sleepy Devils", "Flaming Balls" and the title track, there's a lot to enjoy and plenty of repeated listens, which are totally required.
Buy from Elemental Tales Svartby. Write your own review. FMBJune 3rd,
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