Folkearth - _A Nordic Poem_
(Stygian Crypt Productions, 2004)
by: Quentin Kalis (8 out of 10)
This may seem a bit old for our pages -- but their 2006 release and _Drakkars of the Mist_ are also reviewed in this issue. More importantly, I like it and have great admiration for the concept.

Folkearth are not a band in the conventional sense; rather they are a project of some fourteen musicians, from Greece, Lithuania, England, Switzerland, Austria and Sweden performing folk metal. (Which presumably explains their choice of moniker.) Most of the musicians are unfamiliar to me, but do include members of Forefather and Yggdrasil.

As implied by the expansive membership, the full spectrum of folk instruments are used, including acoustic guitar, bodhran, mouth harp, tin whistle, Uilleann pipes and violin. Seven vocalists are utilised, providing everything from blackened shrieks through to clean vox. My personal favourite are the clean soul-searing vocals, not unlike Garm (Ulver), right down to the chants.

But despite contributions from a wide variety of people, someone had to have the idea and the responsibility of coordinating such a diverse cast. The genius behind this project is one Ruslanas of Lithuania, formerly of ambient black metallers Ravenclaw. I refer to the line-up as a cast, as Ruslanas' role is much closer to that of a director than that of a front-man! Plus, the majority of members -- and I use the term loosely -- have not even met each other, let alone record in the same room.

It is easy to see how problems could arise in such a situation, yet the album is remarkably coherent despite being highly varied. It is not as strong as their sophomore effort, but there are far worse folk metal albums littering the scene.

Contact: http://www.folkearth.cjb.net

(article published 16/2/2008)


ALBUMS
1/4/2010 Q Kalis Folkearth - Songs of Yore / Fatherland
3/25/2009 Q Kalis 7 Folkearth - Father of Victory
2/16/2008 Q Kalis 7 Folkearth - Drakkars in the Mist
2/16/2008 Q Kalis 8.5 Folkearth - By the Sword of My Father
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