Another great new band arises from the lately blooming Italian folk metal scene. Artaius come from Sassuolo near Modena and they were formed in 2008 with the aim to merge metal and folk music. In 2011 they self-released the 4-track demo EP “MMXI” and appeared on various gigs with other Italian folk metal bands. With a new female singer, Sara, the six-piece band released its debut full-length album “The Fifth Season” via the Italian label Moonlight Records on April 2013.
Artaius have a quite experimental, almost vintage rock mood in their compositions, trying to combine many different musical styles. Luckily for us, they all seem very skilled musicians, while their debut album has a crystal clear sound and a superb production. They belong to the general genre of folk metal, but in “The Fifth Season” you will listen from acoustic folk and folk progressive rock to classic metal, progressive metal and folk extreme metal. Powerful guitars of various styles and brilliant prog synths are combined with whistles and violins deeply influenced by Celtic music. Leading female vocals, moving from ethereal to folk and sometimes operatic style, brutal death metal vocals, choirs and clean male vocals, all together in their ever-changing music. They are equally good in all the different genres they play and they manage to sound balanced, with a solid atmosphere through the whole album, despite they countless changes of rhythm, music style and mood inside each composition. There are 11 songs in the album, including the 4 tracks of the demo, with a total duration of over 50 minutes. Their lyrics are in English, except for the song “La Vergine e il Lupo” in Italian, all included in the CD booklet.
“The Fifth Season” is another quality Italian folk metal album released by Moonlight Records, a new label that seems to gather all great folk metal bands (among others) from this country. If you are into this genre, don’t hesitate to listen to Artaius at all. Their atmosphere is closer to fantasy folk metal than “beer” troll metal or pagan folk metal and their progressive metal influences might make them interesting to a wider audience. Above all they play good music. “The Fifth Season” comes in a 6-panel digipak edition including a 12-page booklet with Bat-Zar Studio’s artwork and Gloria Soverini’s beautiful artistic photography. Visit their official pages below and discover their great music!