It’s very hard to find folk metal bands out there that feel actually worth talking about. Oftentimes, we see bands take easy routes to create material that is loosely folk metal but rather something that comes across like gimmicky black metal, but their heads are certainly in the right place. The execution is by far the most important part if you ask me for you have to really play the part in order to deliver it properly. With their debut, I had my doubts about Hand of Kalliach, but it’s now hours later that I find myself wondering what else this duo is capable of.
Whereas many folk metal simply take the concepts of the style and run with them in the lyrical departments more so than anything else and rare acts like Whispered or Isenmor actually incorporating folk elements to great effect, Hand of Kalliach found a middle-ground that suits them extremely well for their first outing. While they lean more towards to former of those two different kinds that we find throughout the style, Hand of Kalliach does a tremendous job at keeping that energy, power, and all the sensations that a rock-solid work of folk metal needs in order to succeed where many others might slack to help make “Shade Beyond” not only an interesting debut but an immensely promising one at that. From the melodic elements, tremendous diversity that enables each track to have its own undeniable identity, tasteful delivery in every department, and a clear understanding of the vision that Hand of Kalliach had for what they wanted to pull off, there isn’t much about these five songs that don’t show us that this Scottish name is one that absolutely knows what they’re doing as well as what they’re going for which gives them an authentic feel to it all that wraps the work together really nicely.
Like many others of the style, Hand of Kalliach still has some way to go before becoming a folk metal act that is worth losing your mind over but I’d be remiss if I didn’t give this act the due credit of excellence that was pulled off within the confines of this humble but hungry debut. It’s a work that is more than ripe for branching off from, and I have a good feeling that “Shade Beyond” is just the beginning of what we’re to see from this duo.
LISTEN to “Shade Beyond” on Bandcamp here.
LIKE Hand of Kalliach on Facebook here.