|Release Date||25 Feb 2019|
With the genre becoming more and more popular, the folk metal band pool is becoming so over saturated with shit (as with every other genre, I suppose) that I’m usually a bit nervous going into an underground band that I’ve never heard of before. And, more often than not, my concerns are well-placed, because they’re not even worth giving the time of day.
Fortunately, Salduie is far from being in that category. I haven’t heard the rest of their music, but Viros Veramos is more than good enough to give me a high opinion of them. The songwriting is imaginative, the many bandmates (and numerous guest musicians) are very talented, and there’s never a dull moment. There’s such a wide selection of variety, both in feel and in instrumentation, that you’d be hard-pressed to not like something about it.
While I love the entire album, there are some clear favourites for me. ‘Kalakorikos’ is pretty power-metally and is all over the place in the best of ways, from its cheesy chanting chorus to its barbaric breakdown. Another phenomenal track is ‘Viriato’, which, like ‘Kalakorikos’, is exceptionally dynamic. The changes into 5/4 and back into common time are seamlessly executed and the keyboard run before the mean guitar riffs is an excellent touch.
My only real issue with this record is that the mixing in some parts favours the melody too heavily and almost negates the rest of the band, in ‘Sedeisken’ especially. However, it’s not a problem that’s prevalent throughout the entire album, so it doesn’t bother me too much. The mixing and mastering is otherwise just fine for a folk metal band.
I know I said it before, but Salduie doesn’t fuck around in the fun songwriting department. The balance of folk/metal elements varies greatly from song to song; the extreme metal influences are strong in ‘R.T.N.P.’, whereas songs like ‘Bolskan’ have your usual power metal/folk mix. And, on the other side of the spectrum is the lighthearted instrumental ‘El Encinar de Togotis’.
Despite all of the different things this album has to offer, there are a few key ingredients that are present in every single song: strong melodies, passionate vocals, and lively instrumentation. Viros Veramos is a must-listen for any folk metal fan who’s looking for something that stands out.
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