Written by: EW on 13/11/2010 18:43:42

As folk has bled into metal and metal bled into folk since Skyclad arguably set the ball rolling in the early 90s it was inevitable a fully fledged folk band or two would gain significant credence in the metal world. You don't have to look hard these days to find bands electrifying the dusty antiquated sound of folk music with a metal gravitas, but an act hovering around metal circles that possess but not a hint of metal about them is rare and consequently Swedes Fejd (translated as 'feud') find themselves sitting alone in a quiet suburb of the over-crowded bustling folk metal city. I must admit that I didn't get 2009's debut album "Storm" for some time but it's gradual invasion of my playlist has provided a nice alternative to the more punishing sounds that it tends to emit as Fejd's jolly medieval knees-up-round-the-campfire feel comes with the ability to bleed in it's influence deep into the soul even if, like me, you don't understand a word of the Swedish lyrics.

Being anything but an expert on real folk music my appreciation of Fejd comes from the metalhead's perspective, albeit one with the patience and open-mindedness required when bands of this nature force their presence upon you. Based largely around the Rimmerfors brothers and their variety of ethnic instruments (bouzouki, Swedish bagpipe, Jew's harp, cow antler, hurdy-gurdy, Moraharpa...) this is the real deal with not a hint of the smug self-irony that plagues many of the newer folk metal bands. If opener "Drangen Och Krakan" can't get your foot tapping and provide the warm feel of emotion that is absent in the majority of modern Pro-Tools band then I'm afraid you might just have a dead heart. Following through into "Farsot" and my highlight "Jungfru I Hindhamn" Fejd provide an enlightening and gentle (in comparison to metal at least) escape into the past and a world devoid of the typical daily pressures we face as the restrained rhythm section and selection of folk instrumentation provide a delight to absorb.

Through the 12 songs and 50 minutes of "Eifur" the sense of repetition is the side-effect of the formularised song structures as one can't help but feel the likes of "Ledung" and "Aring" are inferior versions of tracks previously heard but let that not be an anchor to the soaring spirit of Fejd and their representation of Swedish history in both music and lyric. Compositionally more restricted than "Storm" and missing the delightful female vocals that blessed that album (a remark you won't hear from me too often) "Eifur" will still win your award for 'Best Different Album' come the year's end and marks Fejd as a band with the luxury of calling their sound unique in today's metal world.

Download: Jungfru I Hindhamn, Arv
For the fans of: Wardruna, Heidevolk
Listen: Myspace

Release date 29.10.2010
Napalm Records

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