Finland duo Tenhi have had five-years out to focus on making a studio album that channels the wistful moods and spiritual energies that epitomize the neofolk act. Musical help from around the board always helps and on ‘Saivo’ there’s some beautiful arrangements that turn the album into a spiritual exploration.
If we were to generalise a country’s output with national stereotypes we’d probably agree that delicious cheese and sturdy utility knives would be top answer and bonus prize when describing Switzerland. Underneath such sweeping assumptions, the Swiss have quite a history of folk music.
Three-piece Nitkowski carry a technical weight in sound that defies their membership. After the lo-fi ‘Chauffeurs’ début, the London act intended on carefully toning the heaviness of this second attempt in order to bring their sonic intricacies to the fore. It isn’t a bad decision.
Germany’s Dark Suns have nudged themselves ever so gradually towards a purer prog rock sound for some time now. ‘Orange’ is definitive proof that the transitional stage is complete. Welcome to the 70’s.
Germany is historically renowned for hosting a good wealth of successful and innovative bands – whether it’s your Van Der Graaf Generator, Kraftwerk, Kreator, Blind Guardian, Neu, Rammstein – the list is expansive. The sound of cold, hostile black metal isn’t typically associated with the Bavarian regions, but we have an exception in Farsot. Truth is, we can call Farsot a black metal band only in a very general sense. Thankfully, there’s so much more going on in ‘Insects’. Weaving progressive and dark atmospheric fibres into a blackened framework throughout this second attempt, the five-piece have created an impressively eclectic record.
Third album in, Sweden’s Marionette find themselves sailing down more accessible musical tributaries with ‘Nerve’. You’ve heard plenty of Swedish melodeath in the past – so what sets this sextet apart from the reams of Gothenburg acts? Well, what defined Marionette on their two previous records was their astute concentration on melody – a focus we were aware of that could bring a more mainstream broth to the boil.
If Mastodon decided to mine a chunk of accessible rock, lug it into their sludgy sound with a less proggy attitude and bow to Baroness, we might just have ended up with Denmark’s Rising a lot earlier. The three-piece follow on from a four-track EP and hit us with début album ‘To Solemn Ash’.