Ben Corkhill is back with the second album of his personal project Oakenshield. Ben comes from Yorkshire, United Kingdom and founded the band back in 2004 under the name Nifelheim. In 2007, and after 2 demos, he changed the name of his band into Oakenshield. In 2008 Einheit Produktionen released the debut album “Gylfaginning”, a surprising good album! On February 27th 2012 his second offering “Legacy” is out, again by Einheit.
Oakenshield’s music falls into the general category of folk metal and especially this second album is much more folk oriented. Most of the compositions are actually re-arrangements of traditional songs, so many of its melodies sound familiar. These songs come from Norway, Scotland, Ireland and Scandinavia, but Ben’s arrangements give to all of them a new epic Viking metal sound. Except for the typical metal instruments played by Corkhill, the band has amazing violins with David Denyer as a guest violinist. Flutes and violins practically carry out most folk melodies, but the guitars move also on traditional scales, building the perfect rhythmic background for the acoustic instruments. Vocals are mainly brutal, being closer to pagan black metal screams, but they fit perfectly with the melodic music of the band. They are also combined with clean male vocals and a few epic choirs, all performed perfectly by Ben. Oakenshield continue to have an excellent sound and their production is once again great, identical to the debut album; far away from the typical one-man-bands, where most instruments sound like keyboard samples… As expected the lyrics on “Legacy” deal with epic Viking legends and despite the origin of the traditional songs, they are all in English.
“Legacy” is a very good folk pagan metal album, recommended to fans of the genre, especially the ones who prefer a more extreme version of folk metal, closer to folk black metal. Oakenshield have released 2 equally good albums and I hope they continue this way in the future. The album contains 8 songs (45 minutes) and 7 of them come from traditional songs, so the quality of their melodies in unquestionable. You can check the band in the links below. Both albums are easy to find, since they are released by Einheit Produktionen, whose albums usually have great distribution.