Drenaï is a new French folk metal band from Rouen, Normandy. They were formed in 2011 by a group of friends sharing the same passion for role playing games and folk metal. They draw their inspiration, as well as their name, from the books of the British heroic fantasy author David Andrew Gemmell (1948 – 2006). The band has slowly expanded its line-up, growing eventually up to seven members. The time to record their first songs has come and finally on October 5th, 2013 they self released the demo EP “A Rising Thunder“.
Apart from a short instrumental intro with epic narrations, “A Rising Thunder” includes 5 songs with a total duration of 24 minutes. Their music is epic death metal with fantasy, symphonic and folk elements. Guitars have a somehow dry and not very melodic sound, in direct contrast with their epic symphonic synths and their enchanting Irish flutes, who both carry out equally most melodic lines. The majority of their vocals is death metal growls, but they also use nice male clean vocals, as well as some choirs and a few female vocals. This combination of raw brutal metal and melodic folk music works good for the band in general lines, but they need to work more in their metal orchestrations, in order to make their sound more natural and rich. Of course, for a debut demo their production is very satisfying and their sound quite clear. I’d like though to listen to more melodic and dominant guitars, since they have now a mostly rhythmic accompanying role, somewhere in the background. Their compositions are interesting with nice ideas and many beautiful melodies, as well as a few indifferent parts. All of their lyrics are in English, dealing with with the typical heroic fantasy themes…
The first demo of Drenaï leaves many promises for the future. I hope they soon release their official debut, with a more professional production. I will keep an eye on them and I advise fans of folk epic death metal to check their music. “A Rising Thunder” is available digitally on their Bandcamp page and it is also released as CD-R in cardboard sleeve, with the beautiful cover illustration by Valentin Boucher.