Midgard – ‘Tales Of Kreia’   Leave a comment

Now available on Sliptrick Records, the 3rd album release from Ukraine-based folk metal band Midgard, ‘Tales Of Kreia’ was created in a fantasy setting and hence, all tracks hold various moods, incorporating serious discussion points.

It’s an eclectic album, revealing the multitudinous background of the band and their capacity to switch and flow between more and less metallic sections, utilising experimental aspects. ‘TOK’  is designed as a complete construct, with separate elements, providing food for thought.

Mingling melody, speed and groove, with combination vocals and powerful atmospherics, it’s hoped that ‘TOK’ will connect with fans of all good metal.

Necromancer – Mid-paced cymbal intro, joined by Celtic riffs, playing an accessible melody and death roar vocals. Speeding up, with a fast-paced fantasy section. Even the growls are passionate. Light within heaviness. Picking it up again, throwing in a slight industrial touch, before returning to the Celtic melody. Pleasantly fantastical. Ending on a classic olde worlde finale.

The Horde – Beautiful wind instrument intro, with soft, feminine vocals, moving into a jig like sound, then seamlessly, transitioning into a growly heavy section. Drums steady and precise. Monster growls evolve into screams, while a gorgeously upbeat melody unfolds. Changing down a gear, a deathy thrash refrain comes next, picking up the speed, before slowing it back down again and alternating the pace, till the end, always retaining that strong Celtic sound.

Velmehazerun Dolian – Powerful drum intro, electrifying slide riffs and a strong heavy melody, touching on industrial again. Lightning fast drumming gives it the edge, as that Celtic sound comes in, to join it, with the equally lightning fast riffage. Exciting, exhilarating and invigorating, all at once. A medieval Baroque melody enters there, before moving, fluidly, into another light, yet dark metal melody. Consistently growly vocals take up the baton, idyllically suited to the track’s style. Gentle, melodic vocals now joining, with a soft wind accompaniment, fading out, naturally.

The Ring – Explosive, but breathy drum intro, accompanied by the pipes again and unfolding, into a varied metal section. Great combo of proficiently performed sounds. Proof of the beauty and potential within Celtic metal. Everything here gels so well, from the roaring, death based vocals, to the delicious Celtic riffs and the precisely timed rhythms. Evoking powerful visual imagery, ending on a gentle flute solo.

Dwarf King – Opening on a gross noise, I’ll leave to your imagination, with accompanying laughter, it’s a relief that it moves straight into another breathy, accessible melody). Anthemic group vocals, still deathy, but with a softer edge. Fast-paced, with more of the uplifting sounds and a Viking-esque harmony. Another very visual one. Piccolo interweaving with the heavy masculine vocals, ending on more cheeky laughter, it’s certainly a fun track).

Keeper Of The Freedom – Fast-paced drum roll intro’s. Quite a tech style riff section. Death growls enter, as the drumming gets faster and the Celtic melody returns, growing louder and stronger. The tech sound takes over, in a call and response riff and drum style. Solo vocals lift and more Celtic atmosphere enters. Heavy drum beats interplay with the growing melody. Fading out, into the distance, on the wind section again.

Reaper – Cymbal hits intro and a fast-paced, upbeat melody paints a light filled picture. Slightly softer growls work in tandem with the melodic vocals and the gorgeously executed wind and riff accompaniments. Hugely rhythmic track, guaranteed mood lifter. Especially with that sexy bit of siren-esque whammy. Very collective effort, stacked with happy energy. Tasty riff fade out.

Elven Blade – Beautifully high-pitched Piccolo intro. Tuneful, carefully delivered vocals, shiny riffage, speeding up, joined by the rest. A real power metal track. Like an explosion of light, evolving, into a rainbow. Getting faster and faster, mingling strong melodies with growly roars and softly played Piccolo and precision screams, united by the colourful riffage.

The Hunt – Darker, but just as powerful, opening on more speed riffs and energised vocals. Very rhythmic number, building the tension, before emerging, into light again. The melody hits it on the head, time after time. Always keeping the momentum going. The Celtic atmosphere grows stronger, till the end).

Black Widow – Hitting the cymbals, opening with that same timeless, yet eager to lose no time feel). A strong track, from the off. Again, really rhythmic and hugely atmospheric. Complete cohesion, intuitive timing and performance. Just flawless. Keeping a steady quick drum pace going, throughout, working in perfect unison with the driving melody and Lordi-esque vocals, making for a hugely fun and energetic track.

Ice Spirit – Shimmering sounds and spoken, ballad-type, continental vocals, blending into another light and riff explosion, surrounded by roaring death vocals. Pained screams merge neatly with those tech heavy riffs. Drums attacking that space, with all they’ve got, before stepping back, at just the right point, as group vocals and lighter melodies overtake, before moving back into strong atmospherics, once more. There’s definitely more light than heavy, but everything here just works. Fading out on melodic group vocals, with an anthemic edge.

Overall – In a word, fabulous. ‘TOK’ is just a sheer delight, from start to end. The Celtic legend virtually screams from it and every track’s a treasure trove of melody, power and intrigue. So uplifting and passionately performed, you’ll wish you could bottle the fun and energy within it. An outstandingly enjoyable album, delivering on all fronts.

10/10 **********

For fans of Lordi, Amon Amarth, Grand Magus, Celtic Legacy, Ice Sword, Turisas, Marius Danielsen, Dark Forest, Emerald Mist, Sabaton, Powervice, Farseer, Silent Winter, SuidAkrA , Ice War.



Posted September 3, 2020 by jennytate in Uncategorized

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