Release DetailsLABEL Stygian Crypt Productions
RELEASED ON 8/1/2006
By the Sword of My Father
posted on 4/2007 By:
Certainly, this is a project that makes the eleven-member Dublin Death Patrol crew seem paltry in comparison. Boasting a perhaps unnecessarily weighty 31 musicians, Folkearth is the collaboration to end all other collaborations, and if ethereal compositions featuring an abundance of unapologetic folk influences sounds appealing then the group's sophomore effort, By the Sword of My Father, should keep you plenty busy.
While this is not technically Folkearth's debut, the number of contributing members has increased rather drastically. If not a debut, By the Sword of My Father is most definitely a grand experiment far removed from the epic but not quite as exaggerated form found on 2004's A Nordic Poem. At 16 songs, this proved to be a lot to chew and my digestive system wasn't quite as prepared for an hour+ of raging folk metal as I had thought.
The one mistake I made was believing that because there are 31 musicians involved in Folkearth the album must inherently sound directionless. The uniformity is actually quite striking. Pervasive and convincing, the folk influences are given room to breathe in each and every track, and while there are over a dozen people contributing vocals to the project, from clean to gruff, the music consistently sets an unmistakably fantasy-based tone while injecting doses of darker influences ala Finntroll. Obviously not a rush job, By the Sword of My Father was carefully crafted to exist as a stand-alone project, an ode to the sound that lifts the spirits of each individual member in his or her respective bands.
Complex, multi-layered and almost impossible to grasp in one sitting, most of the album is so grand in instrumental scale that it becomes difficult to hold on to one single song. If it suffers from anything, it is its own ambition. Trying to write 15 compelling songs and throwing a Falkenbach cover into the mix is admirable but insane. Some songs are bound to be trying (see "Domain of Darksom Ravens" and "Return to Walehalle") and difficult to get through, but the faster, more to the point tracks like "Skaldic Art" and "Wisdom of Wolves" prove that folk metal is best played with wreckless abandon.
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