We’ve had a good little run of folk metal here lately, so we thought why not keep going with a review of the new Furor Gallico album, Songs From The Earth.
I had some initial confusion about their origin – you see blue paint on faces combined with kilts, you think Scotland – until I did a little research and discovered they come from Italy (still, if history from the 1700’s tells us anything, it’s that the Scots and Italian’s can work pretty well together).
Some folk metal bands wear their hearts on their sleeves; others purely hint at folk influences in the depths of their music. Furor Gallico are the former. At times we stray so far into folk you would be forgiven for forgetting the metal part, if not for the growls present throughout, something you tend not to get in straight up folk music.
At other points, Steam Over The Mountain for one, the listener could be forgiven for forgetting about the folk part for a while. The death metal and discordant bass strikes makes for an excellent palette cleanser if you’ve got to comfortable in folk metal.
They manage to avoid straying into the “silly” territory of folk metal. While some bands embrace the silliness and make it part of their presence and sound; other bands strive to be deadly serious, yet unfortunately fall into the silly camp and the whole vibe is thrown off. Perhaps it’s down to the quality of the albums folk sections, you get the impression the metal could be stripped completely away and we would still be left with some good folk songs.
The lyrics rarely stray into English and are, for the most part, growled or shouted. While some sub-genres might suffer from this, folk metal strives. The more people who can’t understand what you’re saying, the better it seems. People go mad for Scandinavian dialects, why not Italian?
They’ve got the look, they’ve got the foreign tongue (unless you’re an Italian speaker of course) and they definitely have the folk sound. The range of instruments and sounds involved is probably the strongest point about the release. They don’t suffer from a repetitive tone, nor do the songs bleed together. Each track is distinct, and while the choruses might not stick in your head, the upbeat jigs of songs like Squass will have you dancing in a drunken folk metal pit when you see them on tour.
It’s important to note that this is only the second album for the band. It’s hard to think of a band that have remained consistent with their sound after just two albums, and considering that Songs From The Earth already visits all corners of folk metal through to jazzy influences and death metal, who knows how album three is going to sound. If that’s not reason to keep an eye on them, I don’t know what is. We could get an album full of dark, evil sounding folk metal, or ridiculously upbeat catchy choruses, who can say.
While there are moments you fear that they’ve explored too far and could lose direction, they always manage to pull it back to their core sound. It might not be for everyone, but fans of a more serious folk metal sound and Celtic influence will find something to enjoy here. They say you should know your audience, and it’s clear Furor Gallico know theirs.
Songs From The Earth is out now, follow the band on Facebook for more information