Release DetailsLABEL Oaken Shield
RELEASED ON 9/1/2005
posted on 12/2005 By:
I was introduced to this band back in 2001 when they released the album La Chasse Sauvage. Not too much has changed since then, as Aes Dana still plays a rather intriguing form of black metal with strong folk overtones. Take it or leave it, Aes Dana is an adventurous French black metal band that plows headfirst into a whirlwind of dark, lugubrious black metal all super positioned over the backdrop of fluid Celtic soundscapes.
Now the traditionalists out there may be wary of a black metal release that strays so much from the beaten path that it uses whistles and bombards, but these folk elements actually elevate Aes Dana from a relative basic black metal foundation to a whole other beast that is capable of offering an interesting and progressive album into the fray that can actually contend for interest with the big boys of the scene. If you like your black metal static and unadventurous, chances are you’ll want to pass on this, but if you’ve been looking for something that breaks the mold of that standard sound we’ve been hearing since 1993 this will be a welcome release.
What’s most intriguing about this band is that they genuinely manage to interfuse a classic sound of black metal with heavy folk influences in a convincing manner that’s highly effective in it’s delivery. Formors is nowhere near as annoying as I found the masters of polka black metal Finntroll to be. I like black metal to stay on more serious territory, and Aes Dana flawless integrates the celtic elements of their songs. “Les traces de la branche rouge” is a celtic like march that introduces the listener to the basic foundation of the album before breaking into the phenomenal song “Mer de glace et d'ombres”, which flows deftly onward towards a black metal path that reminds me strongly of Bergtatt era Ulver (without the clean vocals) with subtle hints towards the melodic sensibility of Dissection or a slower Manatark.
While some songs blend the heavily ethereal celtic influences, songs like “Ventres noirs”, “exil”, and “Les griffes des oiseaux” (another of Aes Dana’s fine moments of superb songwriting) oftentimes rely on more on their straightforward style of dark black metal to keep the normally quite acrobatic whistles from detracting too much from the enjoyability of the listen. Conversely, songs like “ Gwaenardel” wouldn’t be half as interesting without their folk components to set them apart from other bands.
Formors is a strong, but nowhere near being a flawless album. The sound of the occasional acoustic guitar is quite thin and brittle, without the fullness and resonance really needed for the instrument to sound right. Also, the drums are slightly muffled and lack a strong attack on the album. Though I strongly enjoy the style of black metal Aes Dana plays, there’s a lack of strong distinction between songs that causes the album to almost become one big blur of bombards, tortured vocals, and morose black metal guitars. Despite this, Aes Dana is surprisingly original and boasts a mature sound I did not expect from them, but I've found that their label Adipocere/Oaken Shield has a tendency to release such strong albums. Also, After repeated play the album looses it’s initial appeal until picked back up later, but most people aren’t going to have this album loop for days on end like I did or particularly give a flying fuck about occasional downsides considering the album is still one hell of an enjoyable release. Overal Formors is great for the occasional listen, but not a landmark must have of folk black metal. However, if you like folk black metal, Celtic music, or any sort of interesting variation of black metal, Aes Dana comes strongly recommended.
Register to post comments.