The Rise Of The Heraldic Beasts

Written by: PP on 26/12/2010 03:01:09

What Alestorm is to pirates and metal, Jaldaboath is to knights, tournaments, castles, princesses and Templars of the medieval times and metal. It's a ridiculously overblown glorification of an era in history, expanded so far out of proportion that it'd be impossible to take it seriously, but just like with label colleagues Alestorm, that isn't the point either. It's to have fun, to create a joyous, instantly recognizable sound that captures any young nerd's vivid imagination into a burlesque collage of songs. I know "Rise Of The Heraldic Beasts", their debut album, ridicules the integrity of metal and all that elitist bullshit, but honestly if you don't enjoy this, what is essentially an extremely original and refreshing take on folk metal, you're pretty much a party pooper.

The band itself describe their sound as "Hammering Heraldic Metal", "Crusader-core" or "Tumultuous Teutonic Templar Thrash" and apparently take inspiration from the Knights Templars, the Crusades, and Monty Python among other things - the latter which seems to have been the inspiration to the hilarious video of "Hark The Herald". You can expect lyrics written exclusively with humour in mind about burning witches, riding horses, knights, castles, princesses and that sort of thing, presented with a clear admiration of the glory days when you needed to kill a dragon to get half a kingdom and the princess' hand in marriage. And because it's played and sung in such a tongue-in-cheek manner, it puts a smile on your face and ensures the pints of beer keep going down fast on anyone listening.

There's an overload on medieval trumpets, various keyboards and that sort of thing, but on a few tracks the influence from medieval black metal band The Meads Of Asphodel - the main project behind this group's mastermind Jaldaboath (James Fogarty) - spills over, resulting in a less happier sound with black metal shrieks thrown on top of the bright medieval trumpets and various keyboards. This is acceptable, but the band's strength is clearly in the all-happy, all-drunken knight-obsessed interpretation of experimental folk metal. That's what I'm interested in after having the album opener "Hark The Herald" charm me away by its utterly and completely ridiculous presentation of what metal can sound like. But because it's so special and unique, and appealing to such a wide audience precisely because of its - lets admit it - retarded outlook - I suspect this band can do a lot of similar things as Alestorm in terms of success and album sales. It's safe to say I've never heard quite anything like Jaldaboath.


Download: Hark The Herald, Axe Wielding Nuns
For the fans of: Alestorm, tongue-in-cheek metal
Listen: Myspace

Release date 24.09.2010
Napalm Records

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