Folkearth - _By the Sword of My Father_
(Stygian Crypt Productions, 2006)
by: Quentin Kalis (8.5 out of 10)
After a three year hiatus, Folkearth have finally released the follow-up to their 2004 debut, _A Nordic Poem_. Folkearth are not a band in the conventional sense, but rather a collaborative effort with a vast multinational cast, coordinated by Ruslanas. The debut featured 14 different musicians, but has now been expanded to an impressive 31 contributors!

Some of the musicians are poached from existing projects, others are unfamiliar, but all are talented and all contribute towards making _By the Sword of My Father_ a true folk metal powerhouse. The sheer number of composers (at least eight) and lyricists again mean that consistency could be a problem, but Ruslanas coordinates it to ensure and maintain a highly varied yet coherent album. Not all moments are expertly performed; "The Lady's Gift" will sound fresh only to those unfamiliar with early Blind Guardian, whilst the cover of Falkenbach's "Heathenpride" is of curiosity value only, but this is more than compensated for by the upbeat, Celtic flavoured instrumental, brilliantly entitled "Instrumental", and the title track.

Tighter and more melodic than either its predecessor or successor, this is easily Folkearth's strongest work to date. I guess the next step for Ruslanas would be to arrange a live concert of Folkearth -- and not just with Ruslanas, four members and a couple of session musicians, but with all 31 contributors. Now that would be worth travelling halfway across the world to see.


(article published 16/2/2008)

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 Folkearth - A Nordic Poem
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