Waylander
Honour Amongst Chaos

There’s something about Celtic music that I just find totally enthralling. It’s something I can never explain, but taps into a very deep part of me. That being said, my lineage traces to Poland and France, so I can’t even claim to be nationalistic about it. But no other music just completely detatches me from all the bullshit in my life. Cue Waylander’s Honour Amongst Chaos.

First off, I gotta say, these guys are pretty damn underrated. Understandable, considering their last release was in 2001. But since then, they’ve established a solid line up, played a ton of shows, and worked on this masterpiece of Irish folk metal. Thanks goes out to Listenable Records for putting this out there. I’ve been enjoying every moment for the past few weeks.

Opener “As Deities Clash” is pure epic grandeur. It’s raw and untamed, but beautiful and fervent. The sound of guitar lead and tin whistle snaking around a galloping riff is just amazing. It’s rare to find metal and folk compliment themselves so well, obviously due to Waylander’s refined and mature songwriting. The folk parts aren’t used as interludes or distractions to make longer songs. They grow out of the songs and are meant to be there, as a tree grows out of the earth. There’s definitely more metal here than anything, but it’s not off balance. The metal is just as folky as the acoustic material, which makes for an organic and refined experience.

Waylander’s brand of metal here is somewhat blackish, but leans into thrash and traditional speed metal territory. They keep things simple, and it only helps them. The whole package here is something special. The production is earthy and raw, but not incoherent. As for the performances, they are very real. Some flubs here and there, but again this only helps aid the atmosphere they seek to convey. So what if the picking or double bass isn’t spot on? It probably wouldn’t sound right in this setting. After all, this is folk metal, and there’s more being said here than just metal with acoustic guitars and tin wistle.

I can’t really pick out individual tracks, since they’re all great work with each other so well. This album is VERY plesantly consistant, with no weak parts of any sort. If you like folk metal, this is a must. I think this is the part where I make a nerdy comment about chainmail and longswords.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Belgarath
January 6th, 2009

Comments

  1. Commented by: Erik Thomas

    Whats wrong with nerdy comments about chain mail and longswords? thats my bread and butter for viking/folk reviews :)


  2. Commented by: Belgarath

    Ha, I’m saving it for the next Rhapsody album I get .


  3. Commented by: Dan

    Folk melodies are like catnip for metalheads.


  4. Commented by: ceno

    Nice. I’m definitely intrigued after reading the review.


  5. Commented by: Juan Pinto

    Hey Belgarath, the Gauls were actually Celtic people, so having a lineage that traces to France might mean some Celtic blood runs through your veins. Maybe that´s why you have such a deep connection with Celtic music.


  6. Commented by: Cynicgods

    Try some Mael Mordha, Belch. I like em even better than Waylander.


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