Friday, October 12, 2012

Folk Briefs, Part 4

Folk It

I hope you're getting as much out of my folk explorations as I am. Or at least, that you're getting something out of them. Since my posts in this vein have gotten a positive response so far, I think you do. I recently decided to split the Americana from the rest of folk music, so this is purely outside of the 16 Horsepower realm.

Din Brad: Dor (2012)
3 out of 5 stars

Negură Bunget, without the metal parts. That's the best way to describe Din Brad, a folk project that features three members of the famous Romanian pagan metal band. The music features many traditional instruments, such as drums, flute, and some kind of lute (plus synths), as well as mostly female vocals. The drums are often tribal-sounding, and most of the music is atmospheric in nature, although album highlights like the title track and "Durere" can get much more interesting, the latter ending on a kind of war dance. The biggest drawback to Dor is the handful of a capella songs, mostly with male vocals, because they offer absolutely no interest.

Buy Dor

Ulver: Kveldssanger (1996)
3 out of 5 stars

Chances are, you're at least vaguely familiar with the black metal/avant-garde/folk band Ulver and their storied history of defying expectations. (Or, perhaps, their unpredictability is the only expectation.) Kveldssanger has them trying their hand at folk music, built of acoustic guitar, cello, flute, and clean vocals. To my ears, this type of northern European folk has a bit of a "Greensleeves" vibe. It's gentle, but its beauty makes it worthwhile anyway.

Buy Kveldssanger

Espers: Espers (2003)
4 out of 5 stars

Espers play airy style of psychedelic folk with guitar, strings, flute, and male and female vocals. There is also a lot of distorted electric guitar, mostly creating a simple veil of white noise. It's incredibly light, sonically, but psychologically it's heavy. It's hard to explain what I mean by that without telling you to just listen. It's even better than I expected from the one original tune on The Weed Tree, although I wish there was less of the male vocal and more of the female. I really enjoy listening to this kind of music every now and then, so between Espers and Hexvessel I think I'm set.

Buy Espers

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for all the mini-reviews. I have to admit that I'm biased against folk/pagan metal (although not folk music in general) because every time I hear a recorder or flute playing that same tired, hobbit-y sounding melody that seems to be required in every folk/pagen metal song, I want to kill someone. But it's good to stay open-minded.