Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Forefather - Steadfast

Genre: Folk Metal
Country: United Kingdom
Year: 2008
Label: Seven Kingdoms

As many of you know, I'm not a big fan of folk metal overall, but every once in a while a band rises above the generic masses of that genre and creates something truly awesome. Steadfast is Forefather's triumph. Brothers Athelstan and Wulfstan have packed this album so full of forceful energy and awesome riffs that it seems as if the CD will burst at any moment. Every single track has something cool to offer, and pretty much every song here is memorable, if not downright infectious. The vocals are really fantastic, especially the smooth, soaring cleans that are largely responsible for the way this album sticks with you, lending an awesome epic touch to the already fantastic songs. Another interesting aspect of Steadfast is that, while certainly within the realm of folk metal, there are  no keyboards to be heard. The folk feeling of the album is derived entirely from the riffs themselves, which is extremely refreshing and handled expertly by the brothers Forefather. The lyrical concepts deal with Anglo-Saxon history, which is also extremely cool, and the album closer is actually a metal adaptation of a middle-English folk song (and it works very, very well indeed). The only drawback to this album is that the drums are programmed, whereas a real drum kit would have suited the full-force energy of the music better, but it's really a very small issue and does very little to detract from how awesome the album is. Even for those of you out there who, like myself, feel that folk metal has become a rather over-saturated and plastic genre, this breath of fresh air is definitely worth checking out.

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