Midgard – Tales Of Kreia
Release Date: 18/08/2020
Running Time: 48:36
Review By Beth Jones
Folk Metal! Some people love it, some might think ‘What the folk was that all about’! Personally, I love it, so am always happy to review a Folk Metal album. And next on my playlist is “Tales Of Kreia” the new release by Ukrainian Folk Metal four-piece, Midgard. Formed in 2015, this is their 3rd studio album, and they have already made a pretty decent name for themselves in the folk metal world, supporting Finnish Folk Metal giants Ensiferum at their Kiev show. This new album is written entirely in a fantasy setting and explores various themes and moods within that world.
The album opens with ‘Necromancer’, which begins in a pretty standard folk metal way, giving you a comfortably familiar feeling. This only lasts for about 20 seconds, though, then the piece is taken over by thrash-esque riffs and rhythms. Unexpected, but pretty damn good, I can tell you. It then moves through a variety of transitions of genre, exploring melody and rhythm changes aplenty! It’s very skilfully done, and a great way to open the album.
Track 2, ‘The Horde’ is introduced by traditional instrumentation, then launches into some damn fine chunky riffs, and again plays a merry dance with variations around themes and genres.
In fact, this is true throughout the album. It’s littered with skilful riffage and rhythms, and explorations in combining traditional folk instruments with the heaviness of the more metal orchestrations. It’s great to bang your head to, but doesn’t become just another jaunty Folk Metal album, as some tend to do.
Another thing to mention is the vocal style of Klym Apalov. In the main, it’s a growl. But it’s a very tuneful growl, which impressed me. We also get the odd clean vocal, too, mainly in the folky sections, which adds a bit of variety.
The track that’s most recognisably Folk Metal is ‘Dworf King’. And for all those…er… young in mind, shall we say, it starts with an interesting sound effect that is bound to have a few of you tittering behind your hand, like naughty schoolboys! This track is very much a ‘grab a flagon of ale and do an over exaggerated stompy walk round in circles dance’ tune. Nothing wrong with that, like, but I’d go for Mead!
The final track ‘Ice Spirit’ begins with spoken word set over music, in the band’s mother tongue. This gives it a kind of ‘final battle pep talk’ feel, and creates an interesting mood. Again, this track explores various rhythmic and melodic themes, closing the album in the same way it began.
I think my favourite track on the album has to be, ‘Velmehazerun Dolian’. It’s hellishly pacey from the start and really sets your toes a-tapping! It’s quite spiky too, if you know what I mean? There’s a ton of gain on the rhythm guitars, and everything is very staccato, which gives it a real edginess. There’s also a stunning lead guitar solo in the middle of it, just before it drops off into a traditional folk interlude, because, well, why not!
Production wise, it’s all pretty tight too. A nice balance of sounds, and you can hear all the little folk twists coming through.
All in all, while it’s not completely ground-breaking, this is a very decent release from Midgard, which does step away from comfort zones a little, and is definitely worth a listen. It’s got a real groove, and there’s something in there for every musical taste, too (especially Thrash). So, even if you’re not usually into Folk Metal, I’d still give it a try.
02. The Horde
03. Velmehazerun Dolian
04. The Ring
05. Dworf King
06. Keeper Of Freedom
08. Elven Blade
09. The Hunt
10. Black Widow
11. Ice Spirit
Klym Apalkov – Vocals
Roman Kuznietsov – Guitars
Alexandr Kudryavtsev – Drums
Maxim Shatilo – Bass
Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Beth Jones and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.