Exactly one year after their beautiful demo EP “A Rising Thunder“, French folk metallers Drenaï are back with their debut full-length album. The band was founded in 2011 in Normandy, inspired by the fictional heroic world of the books of British author David Gemmell. Drenaï consist of 7 full members and they released their demo EP on October 5th of 2013. Finally, on October 10th 2014, their first album “Deathwalker” was out, self-released by the band.
“Deathwalker” is the natural continuation of their demo, sounding much more complete and better produced. Their music is combining Celtic folk metal and acoustic folk with epic melodic metal, death metal elements and symphonic influences. Once again it’s their epic keyboards and Irish flutes that have the leading role in their melodies, with the help of many other traditional instruments, like bodhrán, accordion, banjo, Celtic harp, viol and oboe. This time however, their guitars are clearly improved, with a much richer, more melodic, variable and technical sound. Apart from the rawer rhythmic riffs, there are also melodic lead guitars and acoustic folk guitars, creating a much more balanced sound. Drenaï experiment a lot with their vocals, singing in so many different styles and luckily for us they are good in all of them. The lead vocals are death metal growls and they are accompanied by wonderful epic choirs, clean male vocals, enchanting female vocals and several cinematic narrations. Their music is much more versatile, lyrical and passionate compared to the demo, with various changes in style between the songs. Many acoustic instrumental and epic soundtrack-like passages enrich their atmospheric compositions, revealing their quite ambitious intentions. There are 10 songs in the album plus a bonus track taken from the demo, with a total duration of almost 55 minutes. The band seems very capable of composing beautiful, epic and melodic music, but in my opinion they still need work to perfect their sound and especially their metal orchestrations. There is something missing in the marriage of their brutal elements with their melodic side… All their epic fantasy related lyrics are in English and can be found in the CD booklet.
Undoubtedly “Deathwalker” is a very good debut album, recommended to fans of melodic epic folk death metal. I believe that with a better filtering of their influences and a more professional production we could hear great things from Drenaï in the future. Tracks like the amazing “Rowena” and “Funeral Pyre” are the best evidence for this… The album is self-released in a limited to 25 copies digipak edition, as well as in a standard jewel-case CD, both with a 12-page booklet illustrated by Martial B. ”Deathwalker” is also available in digital formats in their official Bandcamp page. Follow the links below for more info and further details.