Pagan folk metallers Adorned Brood are back with a brand new album, their seventh full-length. Formed in 1993 they were one of the first bands from Germany playing this genre. After their first cult releases of folk black metal “Hiltia”, “Wigand” and “Asgard” they moved to a more heavy-rock mood for the next two albums. It was only in their previous release “Noor” that they seemed to return to their more extreme side, having back in their ranks their guitarist Mirko, one of the founding members who left the band after “Asgard”. Mirko has left again the band, so I was curious about their new sound.
“Hammerfeste” is a quite different album, but it still retains the characteristic sound of the band. I believe that it is the most solid and balanced work of the band after “Asgard”. The term black metal can’t be used anymore for their music. On the contrary, I think it’s best to describe them as epic pagan heavy folk metal with extreme vocals. Adorned Brood have a very powerful sound and this is their best production by far. Heavy epic riffing with many faster outburst are combined perfectly with Anne’s amazing flutes (the band’s trademark in my opinion). They follow more typical song structures, with bridges and melodic refrains that stick in your head. The more you listen to this album, the bigger the need for endless headbanging… The work in the guitars is really remarkable and they have also added some great solos in their compositions. The orchestrations are very good and everything (including synths and traditional instruments) is sounding crystal clear and at the right level. Vocals (especially in the verse and pre-chorus parts) are very extreme and raw and actually it’s the last remain of their blacker past. On the refrains and bridges they use epic clean vocals and choirs and these are the parts were they sound more heavy metal. Unlike previous albums, their compositions are all in the same style, without many changes from one song to another, but with many changes inside the songs. Their lyrics are in English, except for one traditional song, dealing with battles and North mythological themes.
Adorned Brood were one of my favourite bands back in their beginning and I always like to listen to something new from them. I really miss their more blackish sound, but I have to admit this is their best work the last 10 years. “Hammerfeste” is a very powerful album with some amazing songs that fans of epic folk pagan metal should definitely check. Except for the normal jewel case version, Black Bards Entertainment released it in a limited to 400 copies leather-bag edition, including a patch and an autographed band photo. You can listen to their music in the links below.
Originally published on HeavyMetalCosmos