Fejd - Storm
Napalm Records
12 songs (59:52)
Release year: 2009
Official Myspace, Napalm Records
Reviewed by Charles
This really isn’t metal at all; Fejd are a folk band formed by members of some Swedish power metal bands teaming up with a traditional folk duo. Nowadays, of course, this is no barrier to being accepted in the metal world. Anyone from the jolliest Finntroll admirer to the gloomiest Drudkh fan now has an interest in this type of thing. As metal moved away from its blues roots it had to find inspiration elsewhere, and folk music has clearly filled that role for many.

This makes me think of another metallically-rooted folk record I heard recently; Ajattara’s Noitumaa, and the immense difference between these two records drives home where Storm is coming from. Noitumaa, as befits the work of an erstwhile black metal band, was terrifyingly batshit; a dissonant fireside singsong of cackling demons and twisted guitar twanging. This, as befits the work of erstwhile power metallers, is heavy on really strong tunes, at times a little too friendly, but often exquisitely atmospheric. As such, it will likely appeal to those into the lighter end of metal perhaps more than the extremists. But then, I myself identify far more with the latter and still enjoy Fejd, so it’s not that clear cut.

Here we have driving acoustic strumming and foot-stamping, backbeat-heavy percussion accentuated with various traditional instruments, particularly stringed ones, that shadow and lift the powerful vocal melodies. Some of the songs here are really excellent, and when listened to on headphones serve to transform the most mundane walk around Leeds city centre into a scene from Braveheart. Offerrök has a relentless, driving chorus, stomping proudly through a muddy medieval Scandinavian field. Quite special is Älvorna Dansar, where female vocals lend an eerie quality to a euphoric tune. It’s the kind of thing that could stray uncomfortably close to anodyne new age meandering, put for the most part these doubts are cast aside when the album is actually playing. There is a sonic weight and enigmatic power metal attitude that pushes it well clear.

I really dig this. It is undemanding music, instantly hummable and intensely likeable. It has a windswept folksy charm that keeps you coming back to it. It’s also pretty metal, without being metal at all, if that makes sense. Presumably as metal musicians experiment with folk more and more these types of paradoxes are something we ought to get used to.

Killing Songs :
Offerrök, Älvorna Dansar
Charles quoted 75 / 100
Other albums by Fejd that we have reviewed:
Fejd - Nagelfar reviewed by Jared and quoted 75 / 100
Fejd - Eifur reviewed by Jaime and quoted 83 / 100
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