Windfaerer – Alma

Band: Windfaerer
Title: Alma
Country: USA
Label: Avantgarde Music
Release date: 14 September 18
Format reviewed: Digital Mp3

Windfaerer from New Jersey USA, have just released their third full-length album. Containing their blend of Folk and Black Metal. Not being overly familiar with this band’s earlier releases, recommendations have been thrown my way, thus sparking my curiosity.

Windfaerer formed in 2006 by founding member Michael Goncalves. The rest of the line-up on this album seems to be added in more recent years. First impression is that this more ambient and atmospheric than your average Folk Metal album. The folk element is mainly provided by the violin, who is given plenty of room in the mix. This not around the campfire or a party kind of album, the spirit is leaning more into folklore and deep dark forests. Lyrically Windfaerer deals with history, myths, and nature.

The album is varied in terms of speed and guitar riffs, sometimes the guitar is prominent and leading the way, at other times it fades into the background giving the spotlight to violin and vocals. The violin is a central part of Winfearer`s identity. The vocals are kind of harsh but got more of an epic feel. Nergal of Behemoth in later years might be of some similarity, though lower in the mix, not as balls out as the master from Poland.

Windfearer is atmospheric but not like Solstafir, pompous but not like Dimmu Borgir, Folk but not like Eluvietie. They are making their own sound, not limited by those barriers usually confiding the genre they are a part of. This is a solid release, full of confidence, the musicians are clearly very skilled.

Stand out tracks: Dawn of the Phantom Light, Skybound and Journey. But the whole album is well worth a listen. On a side note: no tracks are really weak or filler. They serve their purpose in the overall atmosphere of the album, like the “O Alem” track, a very low key instrumental, filling in between the mid-tempo “Rite of Emptiness” and the blasting “Journey”. And then “Awakening” is another epic feeling bridge before this album ends with the grand “Under the sign of Sol”.

Folk metal is not generally my go to genre, but these guys is getting a fair amount of praise, deserved I might add. Been spinning this for several days now, and still picking up nuances along the way. Making it hard to rate, but we are in the high end of our rating system. Settling for an 8/10, but it might go even higher when hindsight sets in… 8/10 Harald

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8/10 To Greatness and Glory
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