Album: Seven Tales of Swords & Ale
Release Date: 2nd September 2017
Record Label: Unsigned
Seven Tales of Swords & Ale is I believe the first full length offering from Suffolk folk metallers Atorc. I should make a note of the album artwork first, which was created by a wonderful friend of mine Abbie ‘Stabby’ Rial.
I’ve seen Atorc a few times live, and bought a copy of their album when it first came out, but sadly have never had the opportunity to listen to it until now. I’ll be seeing Atorc at least three times this year, so now was a good a time as any to have a listen and get familiar with some songs I’ll be hearing a lot more of in 2018!
Overall, I think this is a great folk metal album. To be honest I wasn’t completely sold on the vocals at first; at time the male vocals do seem a little strained. However after a couple of listens I did warm to them.
This small initial misgiving was soon diminished by the amazing instrumentals. The violin and guitar harmonies in Scurvy Schemes are a particular highlight, as well as the incorporation of the Pirates of the Caribbean theme in the same song.
There are dual and group vocals in most songs, which are great to hum along to when you don’t know the words. I look forward to learning some of the choruses for the live shows this year.
The EP takes you on a journey of sorts, and we go between piracy in Crossbones, to the bitter battles in Sons of Ragnar and Boudicca’s Revenge, to the calming homecoming feel of the instrumental Winter Solstice, to the happy drinking times of The Tavern Song to finish off; a well-deserved party after all that battling and raiding.
I see a lot of potential in the growth of Atorc as one of the foremost folk metal bands in the UK. I’m excited to hear what they have to offer in the future.
The three live Atorc shows I will be attending:
17th February 2018: The Angel Microbrewery, Nottingham supporting Grimner
27th-29th September 2018: Warhorns Festival, The Venue, Selby
1st-2nd December 2018: HRH Vikings, O2 Sheffield