Thursday, 11 June 2009

A NORDIC POEM

Band: FOLKEARTH
Title: A Nordic Poem
Format: CD released on the Stygian Crypt Productions label (Russia) in 2004, catalogue reference SCP016. Folkearth are an international 'super-band' comprising many musicians from a variety of countries worldwide, amongst whom are founder member Ruslanas (ex-Ravenclaw) and Hugin, who played on the band's first two albums.
Edition: Unlimited edition (remastered and released again in 2006)

Track Listing:

1. (Intro) The Pipes are Calling 02:08
2. Wolfsong in Moonlight 04:41
3. Horned Trolls and Mystical Folk 05:28
4. Rhyming with Thunder 05:55
5. Eldritch Sorcery and Faery Runes 03:41

6. In Odin's Court 03:16
7. Storm Ravens Come 04:22
8. Gryningssång 02:30
9. Gaelic Valor 05:22

10. Outro 02:18 [Alex Wieser]

"The life of a collector becomes complicated - part 12"

Past Blog entries for Ravenclaw have made note of the fact that it was always one intention of Ruslanas to found an international band to pursue his musical interests in folk-metal. As a result in the winter of 2004 (after what I can only imagine involved endless emails, trips, conversations and cajoling) the debut album by Folkearth - comprising at that time 14 members - was unleashed upon the world, to generally positive reviews.

Our hero Hugin was also involved in this project in the early years and as such made his mark on their first couple of albums, the first of which was "A Nordic Poem." Happily enough me Nazgul, Alex's contribution turns out to be a distinct solo keyboard track at the back end of the album entitled "Outro", so at least I don't need to listen to every song to identify the odd nuance that might suggest a Hugin-ism had Alex played across the whole darn CD!

On the downside, such is the price to pay for maintaining a complete and accurate record of Alex's work (albeit non-chronologically). This particular CD I tracked down via the excellent Redstream record label in the US, and although the economics of importing a CD from the States for the purpose of retaining one short 2 minute track may seem odd, it's this sort of thing that keeps us maniax (copyright Keegan Irvine) alive and kicking and maintaining our reputation of being one sandwich short of a picnic.

The particular track in question is quite a sombre one, actually, which surprised me rather having listened to the folk-it-to-death upbeat goings-on that preceded it. I also has - to these ears at least - a distinct flavour of Uruk Hai's "Across The Misty Mountains (Far, Far Away)" to it, although recorded two years or so before that particular album. Echoing percussion and a wash of keyboards start us off, and indeed carry us through, and within the piece there's a hint of aboriginal didgeridoo that puts me in mind of the "...Mountains" release and its 'Asenheil' intro. And before you know it, the song's finished.

Would I recommend you - a far more balanced member of society - go forth and buy this album on the strength of Alex's one track alone? Well no, I couldn't in all honesty. Would I recommend you to investigate Folkearth further? Well yes, I probably would, as it's a thumping good listen and bound to get you tapping your toe at some point or other. So there we have it - see a cheap copy, pick it up, and all day long you'll have good luck (nurse, the screens...)

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