Furor Gallico - Songs from the Earth
Scarlet Records
Folk Metal
9 songs ()
Release year: 2015
Scarlet Records
Reviewed by Alex

Italians Furor Gallico do not go for quantity with their output, Songs from the Earth being the first album in 5 years after its predecessor, the band eponymous, debut. This apparently gives them a chance to both organize their disparate crew and hone their sound.

After violin/tin whistle intro of The Song of the Earth plays out one can anticipate that there might be indeed some furor in Songs from the Earth as the song presents some muscular riffs, even some blasting and dual higher scream/bottom bellows vocal delivery. If The Song of the Earth doesn't convince you, however, I wouldn't be surprised since the next 3-4 song block is the best representation of Furor Gallico circa today and, frankly, the best portion of the album as well. Starting with Nemain’s Breath the band explains it to us that they will be playing medieval folk music metallized rather than some power or melodeath metal with an occasional folk melody. Tribal drumming, melody carried by folk instruments, wild man’s vocals - Furor Gallico is a lot more In Extremo than they are Elvenking. Not maybe entirely ancient market square minstrels, the Italians provide darker, more introspective sounding, even chamber music sometimes, as in the middle of Nemain’s Breath which they finish off with a fast polka.

La note dei cento fuochi and Wild Jig of Beltaine continued my buoyant feeling towards the album. La note dei cento fuochi oscillates between bagpipe or some other wind instrument carrying beautiful melody and rolling double bass, spices things up with Italian lyrics, even if sometimes delivered via distorted vomitus vocals. In this composition Furor Gallico manages to combine violent, folk and operatic in one cohesive piece. Wild Jig of Beltaine is no less contagious with its tremolo riffing, showing even more sensibility for melody. Folk dance insert (we talking about a Wild Jig after all) precedes an all-out run for the hills in the lush green meadows of ancient Gaul.

And after that Furor Gallico feels the need to experiment. I feel comfortable with the muscular ballad Diluvio, built around the strength of melody only an Italian mind could craft. Not fitting the San Remo festival, Diluvio bears even more stylistic resemblance (harp sounds and all) to In Extremo circa Verehrt und angespien. Squass is a fun piece too, occupying an unusual space between jazzy bass sounds and Martin Walkyier's led Skyclad drunken thrash raucous. Yet Steam over the Mountain stumped me and laid an unpleasant stamp on the rest of the album. Somewhere from the hardcore realm it allows moshing and vomit vocals take center stage. To the End tries to recover the poetic mood in an awkward, folky edged Finnish/Gothenburg melodeath manner, and only the closer Eremita manages to bring Songs from the Earth back into the mid-album form with the courageous bold melody carrying the day.

Not entirely consistent, but full of very rewarding moments, if Furor Gallico had their fan base, 5 years was worth the wait, even if some tracks may be skip material.

Killing Songs :
Nemain's Breath, Wild Jig of Beltaine, La notte dei cento fuochi, Eremita
Alex quoted 79 / 100
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