Aes Dana - _Formors_
(Oaken Shield / Adipocere, 2005)
by: Pedro Azevedo (
By labelling themselves as a Celtic black metal band, Aes Dana from
France plant the seeds of inevitable preconception on the listener.
Yet theirs is not an altogether uninteresting proposition: Aes Dana
turn out to be quite adept at mixing unabashedly prominent Celtic
elements with occasionally blackened guitar work, some rather rabid
vocals and nimble drumming. Even with one band member credited for tin
whistle and bombarde, Aes Dana could have limited the use of such folk
instruments to the odd instrumental break; yet to their credit, they
have integrated such instruments in the majority of their music. The
whole thing can get a bit overbearing at times however, while their
blackened abilities are competent but not particularly remarkable.
Still, the adventurous Celtic elements and their interweaving with
guitar lines help drag the album out of anonymity, and since the
metallic elements are not bad the whole thing can work surprisingly
well. The album comes with a pleasant dark landscape based booklet
instead of silly, inadequate corpse paint photos, which may be seen as
an indication of the band's intentions with their music. _Formors_ is
an interesting album that doesn't mind being different and taking some
risks by mixing more Celtic elements than some might want to hear with
more metal than some others might have an appetite for. The result,
rather than another half-baked effort where the Celtic link is used as
more of a promotional tool, is serious and successful enough to
deserve credit and an opportunity from those who would welcome such
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