As The Path Unfolds

Written by: TL on 02/03/2009 22:22:41

Crimfall is a name that covers the brain child of the Finnish guitarist and composer Jakke Viitala, who decided to put a band together after realizing that his compositions needed to be brought out of his own house and into the ears of the masses. He enlisted vocalists Mikko Häkkinen and Helena Haaparanta on his own, and after gaining the attention of Napalm Records with their first release "Burning Winds", the band was joined in the studio by a small host of session musicians.

Thus came to be Crimfall's debut LP "As The Path Unfolds". A folk-metal release of epic proportions, relying on both traditional rock instruments as well as a wide array of symphonic ones. Violins, pipes, harmonicas and horns all aid the guitars in creating the core sound, which sounds like it could easily have been the soundtrack for a classic fantasy flick in the veins of Lord Of The Rings or Conan The Barbarian. Mikko and Helena take turns at telling the band's stories, Mikko with a raspy black metal croak and Helena with a Tarja Turunen-esque soprano, and the journey through the album is one that takes you through as exotic locations as Turisas' bouncy battle metal, Moonspell's southern atmospheres and the despairing black metal onslaughts of.. Some band EW could probably better come up with..

Mostly the songs sound more like soundtracks than like songs by an actual band though, and this makes for an interesting listen at the very least, simply because Crimfall doesn't seem overly concerned with choruses and catchy hooks, as they are with setting moods that paint medieval pictures on your mind's inner canvas. This they do very well, as I personally have no problem thinking of vikings on long daring raids in the foreign lands of sweaty barbarians when I listen.

The problem is that it never really becomes very memorable in the same way that bands like Nightwish and Moonspell have both managed in the past, and thus it leaves me with the feeling that it won't really be a subject for repeat listens for others than folk metal aficionados. I for one don't really ever feel like I'm swept along by the music, I simply remain curiously intrigued by it, and this lack of punch forces me to bar Crimfall from one of the really good grades, even if their album is a worthy and interesting listen.

Download: Wildfire Season, Ascension Pyre
For The Fans Of: Arkona, Turisas, Moonspell, Finntroll, Lumsk

Release Date: 27.02.2009
Napalm Records

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