|Release Date||18 Jan 2019|
It’s been many years since we last heard Fenrir’s howl. Seven years, in fact. However, I’ve always thought that it’s far better to forge great music less often than to have frequent releases of deteriorating quality. Legends of the Grail is proof of this; its musicians are excellent and its knightly tunes are vivid and bright.
The album kicks off with the typical instrumental track and then jumps straight into an energetic guitar riff in ‘A Red Sun Rises’. This opening song sums up the rest of the album perfectly; it’s not exceptionally heavy and has soft, smooth vocals and a vibrant, medieval atmosphere. The balance of instruments is near perfect for a folk metal band, as it never leans too far to either side. The mixing allows for the violins to be heard just as well as the guitars and there aren’t many moments when it sounds messy or muddled.
Although Legends of the Grail doesn’t often get too heavy, songs such as ‘Morgane’ and ‘Conquest of Britain’ have heavy riffs and rough vocals, and the incredible drumwork throughout the album adds a considerable amount of weight. Kévin Keiser’s pattering double kicks run rampant and his grooves add significant intensity to the music.
One of my favourite tracks is the lively instrumental ‘Brocéliande’. The skillful violin work is impressive and exciting and makes me want to get up and dance. Another great track is the following ‘The Son of Pendragon’, which begins fiercly and features an awesome guitar solo. There aren’t too many guitar solos in Legends of the Grail, so when they do come around they attack with an extra special oomph.
My only problem with the album is the fact that Elsa Thouvenot exclusively sings in a sweet, airy tone. She’s not a bad vocalist (in fact, she’s the opposite), but there’s not much of a change of intensity to highlight the choruses or certain melodies. That being said, it’s a relatively minor issue in an otherwise stellar album. All in all, Legends of the Grail is a notable piece of folk metal and is truly worthy of knighthood.