Fejd - Nagelfar
Napalm Records
9 songs (43'31'')
Release year: 2013
Official Myspace, Napalm Records
Reviewed by Jared

Neofolk musicians Fejd can be a difficult band to classify into a metal category. The main reason is that they are the purest form of folk music I have ever had the opportunity to listen to and review. Somehow though, Fejd has found its way into the hearts of many metal heads and for good reason. They’ve released two albums prior to this release which both captured the essence of folk music quite well, incorporating traditional medieval instruments with keyboard accompaniments. Nagelfar takes on this approach again, and unlike folk metal bands, they strive to keep their music centered on enchanted melodies.

The band is difficult to classify in terms of metal, but I think it deserves an appropriate spot nonetheless. Many metal fans will embrace this easier than other music listeners because of its themes and beautiful folk atmosphere. To put it simply, this album reminds me of something I might similarly hear during my visits to a Renaissance fair not so far from my hometown. My initial impression once I had finally inserted the disc and pressed play took me by complete surprise of how the band would sound. It was my first introduction to the band, so I took the time to look back on their previous works and heard much similarity in terms of sound. Songs will follow a strong galloping rhythm that evoked an image of a Viking boat sailing on high waters while I listened. Some songs are slower than others, but most remain along the same lines of consistency. This album is definitely hard to listen to without the dire need to have a pint of ale in hand. For the majority of my listens, there wasn’t a moment where I didn’t have some sort of alcoholic beverage nearby to indulge in. It just felt flat out appropriate while I had the pleasure to listen to this album.

Musically this album is so much different to anything I’ve listened to in quite a long time. Unique and offering a change of pace to my music listening habits, it’s an album I can definitely appreciate in the long run. The guitar work and string sections are done well, and really give you quite the folk experience. The use of the nyckelharpa (string instrument or chordophone), is utilized in a great fashion. It’s heard pretty blatantly in every song which either will provide a strong lead, or act a catchy background rhythm to many of the songs. The traditional folk sounding guitars evolve from simple folk sounding chords, to individual notes that grace almost every track in mysticism.

The vocal performance of Patrik Rimmerfors hasn’t changed since prior releases. In Nagelfar he took his voice and layered it over top one another that ends up being pretty powerful altogether. It was hard not to get excited in each song when each chorus was coming closer. The album is not spoken in English for one second. Even though English is the commonly accepted style to be used in metal, I find other languages used to be so much more beautiful, especially when being used in a folk or epic metal setting. Bands like Tyr come to mind such as their song Turið Torkilsdóttir which is just one of the most impressive vocal performances I’ve heard to this day. Nagelfar’s aren’t quite as powerful as that example, but they are very complementary to every song and I could hardly imagine them sounding any other way. The vocals just fit for them.

This album was a great change of pace for me. Getting away from all the blast beating and harsh vocal screams for a week was a much needed venture. It’s a little hard to get into initially, but the more I listened, the more I appreciated just where these guys find their passion in music. It’s been a prolonged time since I’ve listened to an album that literally contained no distorted guitars (despite the last track on the album) or drumming that focused on destroying my ear drums. Fejd is not to be overlooked. They have a strong sense of musicianship that is unique and a folk calling that will always remain strong within their music.

Killing Songs :
Sigurd Ring, Nagelfar, Den Skimrande, Häxfärd
Jared quoted 75 / 100
Other albums by Fejd that we have reviewed:
Fejd - Eifur reviewed by Jaime and quoted 83 / 100
Fejd - Storm reviewed by Charles and quoted 75 / 100
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