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Folkearth - By the Sword of My Father / SCP 029

So you like metal, especially folk and viking metal? Then you need this.

That could sum it all up, but is hardly a substantial review. So, here comes the background information, further readings, connected bands and all that shite we fans of music are interested in. Superficial is not interesting. Let´s get going.

The band: Folkearth is not your normal band. If one can call it a band even. It´s more a name for a everchanging group of musicians, singers and lyric-writers to make music. Not just a few people. Not just 10-15 people. No, the amount of people involved in this project is several dozen. It´s simply not fun anymore to count them all. Luckily, this is done for us. The booklet informs us the band, on this CD, features 31 musicians from eight different countries. Their debut album, ´A Nordic Poem´, featured 14 musicians from six different countries. Hello international ensemble. To name a few bands of who bandmembers are involved in this project would do all the unnamed bands no justice, so I ask you to look at Metal Archives and/or Wikipedia for a list. I must say I miss my own country in the Wikipedia list. No members of, for example, Heidevolk or Grimm? Guys, get involved! Add some of your awesome clean vocals!

The name: ´Folkearth´ is pretty selfexplanatory. Folk for the kind of metal, earth because it are people from around the globe. In effect, the songs can be about pretty much any kind of mythology, but, as things go, is mainly centered around Nordic mythology, which leads me to the next point.

The lyrics: As said, mainly centered around Nordic mythology. If this were a book, anyone who loves intertextuality could eat his/her heart out. I love intertextuality, and this is just full of it. ´The Lady´s Gift´ is the first tracktitle. Based on a folk story, without doubt. Naglfar? Besides being a Swedish black metal band (and Nagelfar a German black metal band), it´s the mythological ship made out of nails of the deceased. Beowulf? You haven´t been asleep have you? A famous Old English poem, set in Denmark, as well as various visual interpretations of this. Even the Dutch Harsh-EBM/industrial project Grendel could be noted here, simply because of the name. Skaldic Art? 1) art by a skald, a member of a group of poets. Scandinavian. 2) A label founded by Vratyas Vakyas (Falkenbach). Etcetera. This band and it´s intertextuality is an awesome subject for anyone who studies something in music, art, culture and loves intertextuality.

The music: What can I say, it´s more than diverse. It´s metal. It´s folk. It has clean male and female vocals, screaming and grunting male vocals and spoken words. It has harp, violin, acoustic guitar, whistles, bagpipes, flutes, piano and more. It has very fast drums combined with stretched out vocals for a perfect contradiction (´By The Sword Of My Father´). It has folk-only aspects, in the ´Introduction´ even a new-age sound. It is everything the folkmetal scene has to offer, and more. It´s not restricted to a certain array of instruments, and thus can do whatever they want with each song.

The best part: 1: Heathenpride. Simply because of the lyrics. The epic structure of the song. The chills it send down my spine everytime I listen to it and read the lyrics. Anyone who has never heard this song, or the original by Falkenbach, go listen to it, one way or another, and read the lyrics! 2: Instrumental. Classic folk melody in a metal form. Dance or headbang, do what you will!

The worst part: 1: A Tribute To The Viking Gods. The lyrics are simply too repetitive. 2: Journey Ends. Because it introduces the end of the album.

The vinal verdict: So you like metal, especially folk and viking metal? Then you need this. And the beginning returns at the end. How´s that for intertextuality! Join in and celebrate the old times!
ChAwech - Heathen Harvest

Folkearth - By the Sword of My Father / SCP 029

It takes only one look at the inlay of this CD to see how incredibly complex this band actually is. The band´s picture says more than any of the 300 words inside this review. It seems like someone took a quarter of the entire European population and decided to make a band...a very good band actually...stripe insanely amazing and talented band... Folkearth features thirty-something "famous" individuals from other Folk metal bands that many of us love and worship, so you know you´re getting into "the best of the best" in music terms with this ensemble.

This album was released back in 2006. They succesfully brought another piece in 2007 and they are currently waiting to release another record this month, so they are hard workers allright. "By The Sword Of My Father" is an album packed with all those sounds that Epic Metal-Heads are used to hear: you know... a lot of flutes, harps, bagpipes and those things that you often see in "The Lord Of The Rings" and such films with gnomes, elfs and ewoks - nice things that make this experience as sweet as British tea and as soft as British porn.

Fear not young headbangers, this album also goes inside the "extreme" side of metal - some songs feature Black Metal structures that include shivering shrieks and gothic chants. Of course we also hear intense and speedy riffing that makes this CD really balanced for your brain. In short, this is one of the most complete pieces of metal ever recorded.

Folkearth is already a very important band in the scene and this album is the best way to prove the matter of the band´s success - a very cohesive album with impressive execution and surreal songwriting, an almost oniric and histrionic experience awaits you in every single cut in this CD. It´s in one word ESSENTIAL for the Folk Metal lovers around the globe.

Best Tracks: "Domain Of Darksome Ravens", "By The Sword Of My Father", "The Lady´s Gift"
8/10 Herzebeth Metal Storm zine

Folkearth - By the Sword of My Father / SCP 029

Вот это, по-настоящему уникальное явление! Только представь! Состав группы – это 31 человек! Нордическая мифология и любовь к музыке объединила людей из 8 стран. В 2004 году Folkearth были сформированы в качестве музыкального форума, который представляли уже утвердившиеся музыканты на ниве FOLK и METAL музыки. Группа уже выпустила два альбома, "By The Sword Of My Father" – это второй релиз группы, выпущенный в августе 2006 года на русском лейбле STIGIAN CRYPT Productions. Честно говоря, я был просто ошарашен, когда развернул буклет и увидел там картинку, на которой представлена вся группа... 31 человек – это, конечно, круто! Точно такое же впечатление на меня произвела и музыка FOLKEARTH... Начинается диск с инструментального интро, которое выполнено в качестве отличного саундтрека к фентези фильму. А последующая же сразу, вторая композиция, – представляла собой уже живую, энергичную музыку, которая полностью, независимо от желания слушателя погружает в тот далекий и прекрасный мир средневековья... Застолья за широкими дубовыми столами, песни, густые леса, сражения, прощания... Это лишь наброски ассоциаций, которая вызывает музыка FOLKEARTH... В целом же, всё то, что можно услышать на этом диске – не опишешь... Здесь тебе и звуки дождя, и волынки, и звуки дикого леса, и дудки, и гитары разнообразные, и барабаны, и чистый мужской вокал, и женские голоса, и отличный гроул, и куча других инструментов, части из которых я даже не знаю названий :) И всё это в очень высоком качестве и длительностью более 70 минут! Для любителей Folk и pagan Metal музыки – это отличный подарок.
Dead_Vamp - Ribers Rush magazine

Folkearth - By the Sword of My Father / SCP 029

This is really great release! Just imagine! The band’s staff consist 31 people! Nordic mythology and love to music united people from 8 countries. In 2004 year FOLKEARTH has been formed as a musical forum, which represented very experienced people in such styles like FOLK and METAL music. Band released 2 albums, "By The Sword Of My Father" is the second album, which out in august 2006 ob Russian label STYGIAN CRYPT Productions. If be true, I was just shocked, when opened the booklet and saw a picture with all band’s members. 31 members – it’s cool! The same feeling I had received, when CD with music was inputted in my stereo system. The album started from instrumental intro, which made in best traditions of sountracks to great films in fantasy thematic. And followed composition (number 2) – it’s already live music (full of life), full of energy, which don’t ask your desire, it just put you into beautiful and far medieval world... Company of friends, long oak tables, beer and great atmosphere, songs, fresh forest, battles, wins and falls... It’s just few association, which this album give you to feel. Everything, what you can hear here – you’ll can’t describe... Here and the sounds of rain, sounds of wild forest, songs of birds, and many-many of different instruments, most of them I don’t know the names, ha-ha! And everything in real great quality and on more than 70 minutes! Everyone, who love FOLK and PAGAN Metal music – should have this one!
Dead_Vamp - Ribers Rush magazine

Folkearth - By the Sword of My Father / SCP 029

Surrounded by mountains I am. The sun is about to rise and I walk endlessly among the stones. Suddenly a valley between two mountains is brought to life by the rising sun. Even in the distance I could hear the flow of the water as I approached the river. Sinking into the grass besides the water´s edge, I gazed across the greenish scenery. It was a quiet peacefulness that greeted me, and birds and insects darted and dived across the water´s surface. I wept for the beauty of my surroundings, for the pain of living and for the pain of being alone. All of a sudden the mountains began to sing. I froze. This had never happened before. Epic melodies rouse from the mountain sides, creating compositions that were stunningly beautiful. The elegant melodies stirred something within, had I entered the hall of the mountain king? A journey is about to commence…. [Introduction]

Folkearth was formed in 2004 as a musical forum representing several established folk and metal musicians from all parts of the world. Although Folkearth’s central theme is based around Norse Mythology; it also serves a platform to showcase the ancestral and cultural influences and talents offered by its diverse cast. By the Sword of my father features the work of 31 musicians from 8 countries while their debut, “A Nordic Poem”, featured 14 musicians from 6 countries. Folk metal is a fusion of various forms of heavy metal and Pagan/Norse thematic, and By the Sword of my father is filled to the brink with epic compositions that fuse metal and folk instruments seamlessly. Sabine Stelzer has been semi-professional in the medieval scene for over a decade now and stood countless times on stage alone or with well known bands in this field. With bagpipes, flutes, schalmey and percussion she has enriched the acoustic settings of the album. She created the instrumental piece on this album, simply called “Instrumental”, and that instrumental is a monumental piece of art. It sounds like the super hit In Extremo never managed to create, and features an awesome combination of flutes, bagpipes and acoustic guitars. Words cannot describe how catchy and beautiful it sounds.

A 72-minute musical journey has come to an end. By the Sword of my father will always be playing when I visit my spiritual landscape. 31 musicians have created moods and atmospheres that allow me drift away, to enter a spiritual fog that leads me to my secret, special landscape that speaks to me and welcomes me every time I go there. I stand on Island Thor – enchanted. Appalachian Mountain Folk Music controls my mind – bow to the Mountain King! [Journey Ends].
9/10 Grim Winter - Northern Metal zine

Folkearth - By the Sword of My Father / SCP 029

After a three year hiatus, Folkearth have finally released the follow-up to their 2004 debut, _A Nordic Poem_. Folkearth are not a band in the conventional sense, but rather a collaborative effort with a vast multinational cast, coordinated by Ruslanas. The debut featured 14 different musicians, but has now been expanded to an impressive 31 contributors!
Some of the musicians are poached from existing projects, others are unfamiliar, but all are talented and all contribute towards making _By the Sword of My Father_ a true folk metal powerhouse. The sheer number of composers (at least eight) and lyricists again mean that consistency could be a problem, but Ruslanas coordinates it to ensure and maintain a highly varied yet coherent album. Not all moments are expertly performed; "The Lady´s Gift" will sound fresh only to those unfamiliar with early Blind Guardian, whilst the cover of Falkenbach´s "Heathenpride" is of curiosity value only, but this is more than compensated for by the upbeat, Celtic flavoured instrumental, brilliantly entitled "Instrumental", and the title track.
Tighter and more melodic than either its predecessor or successor, this is easily Folkearth´s strongest work to date. I guess the next step for Ruslanas would be to arrange a live concert of Folkearth -- and not just with Ruslanas, four members and a couple of session musicians, but with all 31 contributors. Now that would be worth travelling halfway across the world to see.
8,5/10 Quentin Kalis - Chronicles of Chaos zine

Folkearth - By the Sword of My Father / SCP 029

Folkearth is kind of a super metal group with a combination of different influences. And the sound of the band is extremely epic, full of melodies and great musicianship with influences of pure metal, black metal, death metal and more styles. These are the kind of tunes that you must sing with your fist up in the air and that sends all the adrenaline through your spine. There are more atmospheric passages, like in the beginning of the introduction, there are acoustic parts and really wonderful melodies. I have to remark the technical skills that all the musicians here have and that allows them to create this wonderful passages full of technical parts and amazing melodies. Here everything is created like in a masterpiece with full coherence between all the compositions and with interesting crescendos that take this album to really high energy parts. And this guys also covered Falkenbach´s "Heathen Pride " in the Folkearth way !!!A must.
Federico - Music Extreme zine