Fangorn - Mysterious Land
Purity Through Fire
Folk Metal
7 songs (29:40)
Release year: 2010
Reviewed by Tony
Surprise of the month
Something about sword and sorcery always communicated with the hordes of Metal. I am sure that almost all of us in the Metalreviews community have read Lord of the Rings. There are plenty of us who have played Skyrim, and even more of us who have delved further into the fantastical via literature, music, and artwork. There are a number of us who have nerded out at Renaissance Festivals, the one in Ft. Lauderdale specifically is great to smuggle in quarts of whiskey.

It is no coincidence that Tolkien-esque fantasy themes prevail in the Metal world. As long as the music is worth the listen, the fans will come. Russia’s Fangorn and their album Mysterious Land are the arts under question. Fangorn debut here, with their first full length. Lord of the Rings theme? Check. Harmonious guitars intertwined with melodic clean vocals and tactful synthesizers? Check.

Fangorn in so many ways are like a younger, developing prospect akin to the recent opuses of Ensiferum. The band have really impressed me here. I was fortunate enough to get a copy of this album through chance, having no idea what I was in for. I am definitely impressed. There are too many Folk Metal bands today that try too hard for atmosphere. There are far too many nine minute songs with two minutes intro and four minutes bridge. Fangorn bring the youthful vigor, the talent, and the substance to a genre that is alive and well. They may not have the pedigree or the production budget that Ensiferum or Equilibrium have, but they are brilliant nonetheless.

The Russian’s have a very operatic vibe to their clean vocals, but do not take them to the heights of Temnozor. instead, Fangorn use their warm clean vocals as a poignant war chant versus an airy effluvium. And like Treebeard and his Ents raiding Isengard from their defiled hovel within the very forests of Middle Earth that the band derive their name, Mysterious Land has enough of everything within Folk Metal to please fans of Finntroll Korpiklaani , or Ensiferum. It is clear that Fangorn understand who their influences are and draw from them impressively.

For whatever reasons, possibly due to the large number of top Russian bands calling the Pagan Front and Blazebirth Hall their homes, Russia has not gained nearly as much press in Heavy Metal as their Eastern Bloc fellows. Fangorn are a band as intelligent as they are talented, and with each song form a wonderful (but sadly short) album of battle marches and war chants.

Killing Songs :
All are fun
Tony quoted 84 / 100
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