Kivimetsan Druidi
Shadowheart

It is apparent that the recent wave of folk metal is becoming the new metalcore. After the genre received quite a boost in the last year or so bands have been popping up left and right with traditional Scandinavian infused metal. The problem is the cheese factor has escalated and it seems labels jump at the chance to sign the next big folk/Viking cliché creating somewhat of a plethora as they did with the metalcore thing. Kivimetsan Druidi is ok and possibly they will improve as time passes, but this isn’t something I’d care to hear again.

To the bands defense, it’s not their fault. If Shadowheart was to come out a few years ago before Eluveitie, Equilibrium, Finntroll, and Korpiklaani, most of us would probably take notice. However, what Kivimetsan Druidi produces on Shadowheart is nothing compared to the brilliance of those bands or the mighty Ensiferum. The whole idea is there, it’s just scattered and pieced together to the point where this sounds forced and undeveloped. They are trying to follow and it shows.

Covered in war paint and wielding weapons, the band storms out of the gates with “Blacksmith”, (the first track is just the triumphant “here we come sounds”) which delivers harsh male vocals that sound like Jeff Walker of Carcass and harmonies that pull from Children of Bodom’s guitar noodling. Musically, we have the standard for the genre with galloping riffs, fantasy filled keyboards, and blast drumming for that hard edge. The blasting becomes somewhat monotonous after a while though.

Female vocalist Leeni- Maria Hovila is a huge part of this band. Her voice isn’t horrible by any means but once again there is way better out there. She adds a nice dreamy and authentic feel to the music however it’s a turn off for me most of the time. Chants and operatic swells fill most of the chorus lines. Some stuff is really catchy and some isn’t. Same goes for the riffs. At times I think “Man, that’s a badass riff” and then it goes array. With a little time and structure, Kivimetsan Druidi could become something special.

For a debut, Shadowheart isn’t total garbage but I can’t see why it’s relevant either. If you are new to the Folk/Viking metal sub-genre there are plenty of other masterful bands out there that as a reviewer I could confidently recommend. If you just cannot get enough of this stuff than by all means check this out. For the rest of us, I’d stick to what we know and hope that this genre doesn’t start to disappoint in the near future.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Shane Wolfensberger
January 17th, 2009

Comments

  1. Commented by: ceno

    I only need top notch bands in this genre, like those mentioned in the review.


  2. Commented by: Erik Thomas

    I rather enjoyed this sorta Equilibrium ish but with a Finnish lean and a hint of Alkonost or Battlelore


  3. Commented by: stiffy

    Stuff like Battlelore is pushing the cheese for me. Equilibrium is about as folky as i’ll go.


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