Written by: PP on 02/04/2009 17:30:37

Folk music is supposed to reflect the traditional culture of the people which it is representing, hence the term 'folk', derived from the German word 'Volk', which translates directly into 'people'. Swedish language sounds like singing when people are just speaking it, so why not throw in a high-pitched male to sing in Swedish to come full circle with regard to Swedish folk metal? That's roughly what Fejd was thinking about when writing their debut full length album "Storm", an album filled with genuine folk music atmosphere throughout, perhaps because half of the band members used to be in a folk duo before they formed Fejd together with members from fellow Swedish metal act Pathos.

Where most folk metal bands can effectively be said to sound like metal bands trying to play folk music, Fejd definitely sounds like a folk band trying to play metal. The band uses lots and lots of authentic traditional instruments: Swedish bagpipe, Bouzouki, Jew's Harp, Cow Horn, Wooden Whistle, Willow-pipe, and Keyed Fiddler are all represented, resulting in a sound that would be extremely difficult to affiliate with metal if it wasn't for the pounding blast beats and echoing drumwork on the background. There are few, if any, metallic guitars, absolutely no screaming or shrieking whatsoever, or any other elements that you usually associate with the folk metal genre. Just genuine folk music with metal drumming on the background. That can be interesting in itself, but it does leave much more to be desired in this case.

So all in all there is no doubting of the authenticity of the folk sound on Fejd's debut. But something is missing in the songwriting that I can't quite peg a finger on, the element that makes bands like Finntroll, Månegarm and Arkona thrive. It could be that "Storm" is only Fejd's debut album, and they still need more time to develop as recording artists. A quick look into histories of both Arkona and Finntroll tells a similar story of two bands that didn't quite 'click' with the listener on their early material, but as their musicianship matured over the course of their career, they ended up putting records worthy of the 'genre-classic' status. It's too early to say Fejd will do that, but "Storm" is at least a start.


Download: Älvorna Dansar
For the fans of: Finntroll, Arkona, Månegarm
Listen: Myspace

Release date 30.03.2009
Napalm Records

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