Written by: EW on 28/06/2013 23:07:37

Thanks to their presence on the Napalm Records roster Swedish clan Fejd benefit from exposure to an audience that would not immediately seem the best fit for their native rural folk sounds, but reviewing "Nagelfar" as I am on Rockfreaks.net is further proof of their relevance to the bustling Scandinavian folk/metal world. Though devoid of any outright metal in their sound the heavy bass presence and relatively standardised song structures throughout the nine tracks here highlight a metal backbone that is entirely absent in the much more free-form and earthly Wardruna, for instance. Once the atmospheric opening in "Ulvsgald" closes, which feels like it could herald the introduction to a film picturing broad sweeping landscapes, Fejd's brand of riffing is clear as defined drumbeats are overlaid by what could be described as 'acoustic metal' rhythmic guitars and importantly, plenty of ethnic instrumentation. As one of the quickest to get going "Den Skimrande" lunges from it's violin introduction into a pumping tempo that remains throughout - as appealing as I find it I can't help but wonder though if this song is too folk for even 'folk metal' fans and too heavy for more authentic folk fans?

There is depth and atmosphere across "Nagelfar" in the clear production, which allows the instrumentation to settle in nicely behind the vocal rhythms of the Rimmerfors brothers. The brothers possess lovely warm, gravelly tones between them and as such it is a pity they don't sing in English for greater international exposure, though one can understand their reasons for not doing so. In these respects "Nagelfar" is similar in style to 2010's "Eifur" - intertwining vocal melodies lead the traditional Scandinavian sounds with a feel that at times is too relaxed and genial to stir the blood in this listener.

Perhaps due to their conventional song structures Fejd don't have the same pull as Wardruna, whose debut London show for October this year is sold out months in advance, in turn showing that a lack of local language need not be a barrier. To their credit Fejd produce an entertaining listen but a greater range of dynamics and sense of mystery about their song writing abilities would do a great favour.


Download: Den Skimrade, Sigurd Ring
For The Fans Of: Wardruna, Oysterband
Listen: Facebook

Release date: 29.05.2013
Napalm Records

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