French pagan black metal band Fir Bolg from Nice, the solo project of Dagoth, has recently released its first album. The band was formed in 2006 in order to express its founder vision of Celtic black metal. In 2008 he self-released his first 4-song demo “Paganism” in 500 copies. The demo gained the attention of the German label Schwarzdorn Productions, who released a re-mastered version of the EP in 2010, this time limited to 1000 copies. Next year Dagoth started working on his first full-length album, with the help of Florent on drums. Finally the debut album “Towards Ancestral Lands” was released on June 2013 via Schwarzdorn Productions.
Fir Bolg play black metal with epic pagan references and few folk elements. The band has a very good and clear sound, highlighted by a professional production. Their music is guitar-driven, with heavy epic rhythmic sessions and melodic, yet powerful riffs and leads. Their songs are totally synth-free, but their orchestrations sound very rich, thanks to the multilayered guitar and bass lines. Dagoth adds also a few folk instruments like bodhran and olifant, but their use is quite limited. He prefers acoustic guitars in order to give the band its Celtic touch, adding many beautiful acoustic passages in the songs. Their drums have a very natural dynamic sound, something that helps their music to sound more solid and aggressive. Vocals are typical pagan black metal screams fitting perfectly with their music. “Towards Ancestral Lands” includes 8 songs plus a short intro, with a total duration of 49 minutes. They have a very balanced sound, without many differences between the songs and a concrete atmosphere throughout the album. All their lyrics are in English, exploring the wonderful Celtic myths and legends.
“Towards Ancestral Lands” is a great pagan black metal album. Fir Bolg reveal maturity in their debut album, composing a very solid work with excellent sound. I’d like though to see something even more personal and innovative from them in the future, since this genre is really overcrowded and almost exhausted. The CD is released by Schwarzdorn Productions in jewel case edition with a 20-page booklet including all lyrics, as well as wonderful artwork and photos. The beautiful cover painting is by Stephanie Simona. You can visit the band’s official pages below, listen to their music and decide for yourselves…