This is the fourth full-length album from this Hungarian folk metal band, but the second under the name Dalriada. The band begun in 1998 with the name Echo of Dalriada. Dalriada was a Gaelic overkingdom on the western seaboard of Scotland with some territory on the northern coasts of Ireland. They signed with the label Nail Records that released their debut “Fergeteg” in 2004 as well as their second album “Jégbontó” in 2006. After that, they changed their name to Dalriada and released two more albums with Nail Records: “Kikelet” in 2007 and their latest effort “Szelek” in 2008.
Since their beginning Dalriada played folk metal with a few extreme elements, especially in the male vocals. All of their works are very good, but I think after the new name they took things more seriously and professional. So in “Szelek” they offer us their best album so far: melodic folk metal with female vocals and many influences from Celtic and Hungarian traditional music. Unlike most bands of the genre, their music isn’t overloaded with traditional instruments. They still use some folk instruments, but much more limited than their previous works. Electric guitars definitely have the leading role in their sound with the help of some acoustic guitars and synths. Binder Laura’s female vocals are just perfect for this genre, with the right balance between power and expression, performed with a very personal folksy approach. There are also clean male vocals and a few brutal ones, both making great “dialogues” with Laura’s parts… The lyrics are all in Hungarian (a language that sounds really nice in folk metal!) and they deal about Hungarian history, culture and mythology.
“Szelek” is a very well composed album. It’s not easy to pick up one song, since all of them are at a very high level. There are some more epic and majestic parts, as well as songs with a more tranquil acoustic mood. They have very good composing skills, since their songs are interesting from the beginning to the end with many changes inside them. They have managed to capture the feeling of folk music in their metal orchestrations in a unique way. All of the refrains are catchy and really there is nothing “negative” to comment on this work. Their previous albums were at the same style, some more heavy, some more folk, but this one is their most complete work. They have improved their production and their sound is more solid than ever.
Unluckily Dalriada haven’t got the distribution and recognition they deserve, something that I don’t see to change with this album, since it’s almost released for one year, but is still too hard to find… Anyway, I hope this will change in the future. According to their site they are preparing a new album for the second half of 2009. Let’s see. Fans of folk metal (and power metal fans) should not miss this one. You can visit their page to get a first taste of their music http://www.myspace.com/dalriadahu
Originally published on HeavyMetalCosmos