Windfaerer – Tribus …   Leave a comment

Windfaerer are an odd bunch, a three-piece band that is called folk/black metal by most of the media but incorporates atmospheric elements that have more in common with epic doom bands. Even stranger is they sound totally European and yet come from New Jersey, U.S.A. In its ranks the band has Mikheil Gonçalves – Vocals, Guitar, Bass (Grimus, Skies Devoured, Death by Names, Engorged Anal Tumor, Sporadic Suicide), JP Andrade – Drums (At Rest, Skies Devoured, Death by Names, The Breathing Process, Grimus, The Ciem Show) and Valc(ek – Violin and yes you read right, a violin. If you think that sounds off-kilter, one track titled “The Beautiful Death” features bagpipes but it is these elements that give the band their folk/viking metal leanings. Before hearing the album I read somewhere they have a sound reminiscent to the UK’s Forefather, having that little nugget of information didn’t help me any as I am not too familiar with that band anyway. So I went into this album, totally fresh, open-minded and having no idea what to expect. What I got was an album that surprised me one minute and bored me crazy the next, in one word – perplexing.

On the plus side, Windfarer< do something not many bands in the black-metal genre do and that is they adapt to different cultural sounds, they blend in European influences into their songs that are sometimes beautiful, sometimes haunting but always atmospheric. Starting with “These Walls (Frozen in Time)” and ending with “The Seafaerers’ Legend” the album takes you on a bit of a journey that can be both aggressive and dramatic at the same time. Using incredibly striking melodies, the black metal aggression is diluted with folk and atmospheric doom elements. This twist to the tale gives the album an aura that is very unique. You also have to keep in mind that Mikheil Gonçalves plays all the guitar, bass parts and delivers all the vocals. When you listen to this and take note, it is all just one-man, it is a remarkable recording. The downside to the album is it is fairly complex musically and they play a style that at times, seems direction-less. Is it folk-metal, it is black-metal, it is really up to you to decide and while I am on the subject, what an obscure sub-genre is folk-metal. It makes doom-metal seem mainstream. Is there any such thing as folk-metaller ? I don’t think I have ever met one, I know the style has its fans but those people listen to other styles as well. I have never heard of a dedicated folk-metal listener, anyway just a thought.

When all is said and done and the vikings have gone home, I was fairly impressed with “Tribus” as it threw me a curve-ball and made me appreciate a style I have never really spent much time listening to and that on its own makes it important. It has enough of the blackened metal elements to still be considered a “heavy” record but it also has some challenging, atmospheric passages to make it engaging from start to finish. However, while I couldn’t find a weak track on here, I couldn’t find everything to blow me away and for the bagpipes, ewwwww – I hate bagpipes. If there is one instrument that needs to exterminated, it is the bagpipes, what a ghastly instrument. Despite all that, this is an interesting, atmospheric album…..7/10
Windfaerer @ MySpace

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Posted January 25, 2011 by doommantia in Windfaerer

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