The realm of folk metal is one that I always try to frequent when I can, but too much of a good thing can cause you to lose respect for it and take it for granted. Thus, I sparingly take trips, and every time I go on a journey I return with a magnificent new discovery of the genre that’s immensely entertaining. A good folk album, in general, is awesome to me, but a debut record that’s fucking amazing is no less than intoxicating and that’s precisely what’s happened with Spain’s White Raven.
If you ask me, a proper folk metal album needs more than just a fantasy theme or cute gimmick to keep it afloat. A solid record of the style needs instruments like flutes, violins, or even a fucking didgeridoo to stick to the roots of folk metal and thus create a sound that remains true to the genre. White Raven clearly understands that and pulled no punches when crafting their debut album, “In the Forest”. Twelve tracks of mystical folk metal that take influences from all over (even including said fucking didgeridoo) to create this sound that might as well be flowing out of several realms of the highest fantasy, bringing with it sprites and other such mythical creatures to act as catalysts for such enlightening music. What’s neat about White Raven is how not only does this group of eight members (yes, eight) capture the metal side of their sound by even featuring vocals that are reminiscent of death metal that in turn gives “In the Forest” a unique texture, White Raven also knows how to emphasize the folk side to great extents. “In the Forest” goes as far as to feature completely instrumental tracks that instead of using vocals to carry a song, utilize the flows of flutes and violins to weave this beautiful scene through the very fabric of nature to create something serene, entrancing, and deliciously entertaining to create something that I can easily see myself returning to.
There are few folk metal bands like White Raven out there in the world that show two distinct sides that complement each other magnificently well, which makes the fact that “In the Forest” is a debut all the more commendable in my opinion. This Spanish band has got loads of talent and it’s on full display for all to see with this record, and the sheer amount of enjoyment that’s to be had with this record is on unprecedented levels.
LISTEN to “In the Forest” on Bandcamp here.
LIKE White Raven on Facebook here.
FOLLOW White Raven on Twitter: @WhiteRavenGrup