Airged L'amh
The Silver Arm

On paper this thing sounds promising; a cool monikered folk metal album (albeit from Greece) with a cool cover, based on the Celtic legend of the Tuanna De Dannan tribe and the silver arm of their king, Nuada. Heck, it even starts promisingly with the epic intro to ‘Guardian of the Ancient Deeds’, but all it amounts to is a teaser that gives way to some awful, folk laced power/thrash metal that never fulfills the initial promise. Oh Black Lotus why do you tease me so? Not just with this album, but in general, this album just really sums you up; So much promise followed by so much disappointment. The Elysian Fields, The Duskfall, Thanatos, Nightfall -all solid. Then followed up by more Negative Creeps, Chris Caffrey, Sarissa, Olethrio Rigma, Haterush, etc.Anyways I digress. This is not very good, not very good at all. Even more so considering the tantalizing prospect it initially offered. The slightly thrashy take on Power Metal, the smattering of very forced and synthetic folk elements and 12 lengthy songs to prolong the agony. The folk elements are littered randomly around the album as the material generally switches from Maiden-ish/thrash jaunts to badly implemented folk interludes to carry the concept of the album. Each of the folk metal clich’s is rampantly enforced; battle scene sample from Braveheart (‘Dissention Seeds’), acoustic, foresty ballads (‘Morning Grief’, the atrocious ‘The Arrival’), ‘rousing’ war hymns (‘The Silver Arm’, ‘Balor of the Evil Eye’), epic climax (‘End Domain’) and the synth laden end note “Homeland”.

The problem is that while admittedly each of the clich’s is abound for even talented folk metal acts such as Forefather, Suidakra or Furia, here they just are not done very well. The band is not very tight (especially drummer George Zoubourlis), and their song writing just isn’t at the level of any of the genres better acts. Plus the whole power metal veneer, gives everything a sort of icky, cheesy gloss, rather than an epic grandiose ambience. The folk elements are so forced and piecemeal that Airged L’amh may have been better served just to have been a straight up thrash/power metal act rather than attempt to force synths and various woodwinds into their standard power metal canter. For example, the medieval gallop of ‘Armies Assemble’ is actually a decent track because A) There’s no flaccid folk fiddling, and B) none of John Georgopoulos’s wretched vocals. Maybe some added venom or black metal bite may improve the proceedings, but as it stands their leather ‘n’ shades attempts at folk metal simply falls flat. The production is dirtier than your average folk or power metal, cemeting the awfulness of this release.

Please leave this style of music to the Scandinavians guys.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
September 30th, 2004


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