Rhovanion is a new folk metal band from Netherlands and they were formed in 2010. Even if they are actually making their first steps, their different self-presentation and attention to detail (cd layout, personal cards, etc.) gave me the impression of a band that takes seriously itself and wants to be as “professional” as possible. On October 6th 2012 this seven-piece band self-released its debut EP “Land of the Wild“.
Their music could be summarized as a mixture of heavy metal, with folk traditional music. They only use authentic folk instruments without any synths at all. Gilian’s bagpipes and whistles and Rowan’s fiddle (violin) create a beautiful Celtic atmosphere that dominates their music. Traditional orchestrations is for sure Rhovanion’s strong card and they are very good at it, composing wonderful folk tunes! Metal parts, have a more accompanying role, something like keeping the rhythm and adding heaviness in their songs. Their guitarists have influences from various metal genres and their guitar playing differs from song to song. On one hand, this gives more variety in their music, on the other hand I’d prefer their metal orchestrations more melodic and folk influenced. Their vocalist Jobert-Jan has a characteristic voice, singing in a style somewhere between clean and screaming vocals, neither too melodic, nor too extreme. There are 6 songs in the EP with a total duration of 27 minutes, while my favorite is the opening track “Heth (A Maiden’s Vengeance)“. All six compositions are very well written with many good ideas, while the band often marries existing traditional folk tunes in its music. Their lyrics are in English, dealing with fantasy epic themes and you can find them in the detailed booklet.
“Land of the Wild“ is a very good effort from a new folk metal band, with decent sound and production especially for a self financed debut. I believe that with a few improvements in the production and a more folk melodic approach in their guitars Rhovanion could make something really great in the future. Their album is released in normal jewel case edition with a 12-page booklet and if you want to get a copy you better visit their official pages below.