Aes Dana - _Formors_
(Oaken Shield / Adipocere, 2005)
by: Pedro Azevedo (7 out of 10)
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 combinations.


(article published 31/10/2005)

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