Band: Battle Tales
Album: The Ire of the Condemned
Release Date: 12th January 2018
Record Label: Unsigned
I was recommended this band on a Facebook group called The Folk Metal Grove. I checked them out and found they had recently released this album called The Ire of the Condemned. I had a listen and really enjoyed it, so I thought I’d write up my thoughts on it. This is a nine-track album with a mix of clean and harsh vocals, and also some almost military sounding drums.
The first track, Dark Omen, starts with a gently running stream, and there are woodwind instruments, there are two octaves which almost sound like there is a call and response, a conversation between the two sounds. There is almost a preparation in this song, the build up of atmosphere.
The second track, Sweet Melodies of Fury, really does live up to its name. There is a heavy emphasis on woodwind instrumentals, and harsh vocals, which can almost sound like black metal vocals at times. There are tempo changes and time signature changes, which adds to the “fury” mentioned in the title.
The Battle Bard is a change of pace, we hear, unusually for metal in general these days, some bass guitar. There are also a lot of celtic and military sounding drums on this track. This track also employs the use of clean vocals, which makes sense as the song is about a bard.
The fourth track, Bloodlust Invoked, is a change in pace again is heard. The harsh vocals are back, and then are some woodwind and guitar harmonies. L’homme Est Un Loup Por L’Homme has a similar vein with the vocal styling.
A good folk metal album isn’t complete without some form of drinking song, and War of the Pints is certainly a drinking song! As seems to be the case with most drinking songs, I can see myself drinking a horn of mead and singing and dancing along.
Ire of the Condemned brings back the harsh vocals, and the lament of the fallen. There is a mix of harsh and clean vocals in here, and once again the instrumentals and vocals match the title of the song. The clean vocals sound to me like a lone soldier singing for his fallen comrades.
The penultimate track, Beside a Dying Fire, once again fits the song title perfectly. There is the crackle of fire, the military drums, and the clean vocals in the style of the previous track which make you feel like you are sat in a forest clearing around a fire, the roll of military drums reminding you that not all is finished just yet. There is more to come.
Finally, we are Sailing to Unsung Havens. The track starts with an almost piratical element with the accordian, and this appears throughout the song. Harsh and clean vocals alternate, almost in some kind of battle between each other. Overall, the track is dancey and adventurous. It leaves you feeling a little out of breath by the end.
This is a great debut from a Swiss folk metal band. At times the instrumentals do sound a little unpolished, however the album is still fantastic, and I will certainly have Battle Tales on my list of bands to keep an eye on in the future.