Friday, January 24, 2014

Vorna: Ajastaika (2013)

Kicking things off in a manner lifted from Black Sabbath's self-titled epic is "Taakse jaa".  Every self-respecting metalhead knows the beginning.  The pounding rain and the church bells.  But instead of leading into the pioneer's dark masterpiece, we get a swirling black metal riff.  That eventually leads into some Finnish folk elements, and that is where we stay for the rest of the release.

It has been quite awhile since I have heard a truly worthwhile folk metal release.  When I first discovered the genre it was pretty exciting and every band offered something new and different.  But I have been a bit jaded by the genre for a little while.  I think it occurred when Eluveitie steadfastly refused to switch up their formula on subsequent albums after Slania.  I realized too much folk metal sounds exactly the same.  Luckily, Vorna offers something, while not exactly unique, certainly interesting.

That something is the absolutely epic atmosphere of Vorna.  The music is lush and textured, with a lot of stuff musically going on beyond just the guitar riffs.  Vorna's songs are very melodic and this melody contributes to the epic sound of the band.  The band utilizes organs and keyboards along with the riffs that sound incredible.  The vocals are usually delivered in a gravelly growl and they fit the music well.

As I said, it has been awhile since I have heard a really good folk metal album.  This album is one such really good folk metal release.

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