(Our folk-metal-inclined friend Trollfiend lays a guest post on us. Prepare to get double-fisted.)
That’s right, my little chickadees, today I am going to ram a double fistful of folk metal so far up your ass you’re going to spit out my Freemason’s ring. Don’t pretend like you don’t like it.
The two bands in question both hail from Russia; Svartby is from St. Petersburg and Leshak is from Moscow. Both are heathen purveyors of what I can only call “folk death”. Both bands rely more on folk melodies and rhythms than coming over to your house and punching you in the neck with their trve kvlt traditional instruments. I’m not saying you won’t hear a zhaleika here or there in either band’s songs, but they are less concerned with being ‘proper folk’ than creating a mood… and I’m not talking about a hippie patchouli incense and tie-dye kind of mood either. I’m talking about evoking, here: the secret dark places in the cold Northern forests where spirits, monsters, and various members of Immortal still lurk.
And there is a reason I am doing a double review beyond the fact that the bands share a similar sound. They often trade members as well; it’s almost a folk death collective in a weird way. I like this kind of shit; see my comments on the Korpiklaani/Troll Gnet El collaboration if you don’t believe me. It seems like folk metal bands are more into this sense of community than other genres. If you follow the photography of Audrey DuJardin (and you really should), she has some recent shots she took while on the road with Heidenfest. Watching Finntroll voxmaster Mathias Lillmåns shriek out the breakdown of Alestorm’s “Death Throes of the Terrorsquid” is pure masturbatory musical fetishism for me. But I digress.