Folk metal has managed to grow up, hold up and infuse itself with darker genres, all whilst still retaining the charm that draws so many in. At least this is certainly the case for Vredesvävd; Finntroll's new near-perfect album. A beautiful scene is set by Väktaren, an inviting symphonic ambience that would not go amiss on the title screen of a major adventure-themed film or video game. Then on to business with the first-release of the album in Ormfolk; seeing the classic hammering folk sound becoming collided with a punk-esque tempo. Vid Häxans Härd delivers an acoustic intro that would have any listener believing they were about to embark on a softer journey.
Created as a folk/rock/Americana project by Black Rainbows frontman and Heavy Psych Sounds founder Gabriele Fiori and Black Rainbows drummer Filippo Ragazzoni, From The Earth To The Sky And Back is their second album of Woodstock-inspired, 60's influenced folk rocking that creates a warming campsite vibe of long travels through the desert but also the free-and-easy vibe of San Francisco in the summer of love. Evoking the mysticism of bands like Spirit, The Allman Brothers and CSN&Y (Sitting Down On The Porch) this album of folksy musical exploration is built on layers of acoustic guitars and banjos along with the locomotive drumming getting the grooves down as it takes the listener through a psychedelic journey.
Mestis is the newest project of Javier Reyes from the instrumental progressive metal act Animals As Leaders, he has released two solo albums relying more on emotional/personal output rather than the much more technical showy style he plays along with Tosin Abasi in his main band. En Vivo is a live album with each track recorded in a different US city, but the way the album is mixed makes you think this is one long live release with every song recorded in the same place. This is truly a testament to Reyes' playing style as his fluid technicality lets the songs bleed into one another with a bewitching ambience.