Crimfall - As the Path Unfolds...

1 de mar de 2009

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Crimfall - As the Path Unfolds...

Enough can’t be said of Crimfall’s keen ability to marry high energy folk and movie soundtrack devices within the context of a metal album, sounding simultaneously contemporary and, not necessarily old school metal, but rather steeped in an old world feel.

Like the onset of a soundtrack score, As The Path Unfold’s opening track “Neothera Awakening” marches forth with melancholy-filled violins and triumphant percussive thrusts. Distorted guitars chime in at the onset of the following track, “The Crown of Treason,” reminding listeners this is in fact a metal album. But, again, this is anything but metal by the numbers. At various points accordions and stringed instruments bring Viitala’s cinematic vision to life. And Haaparanta’s beautiful, operatic vocals help drive the band’s epic nature predominantly championed by traditionally European melodic styles; however she adventurously and seductively croons with a Middle-Eastern flare on “Sun Orphaned.”

Providing interesting contrast to her lush vocals, Häkkinen’s blackish rasps create a mood in polar opposition with an angry sentiment that’s almost tangible. Though the vocalists play off each other effectively, the black metal approach the band takes musically alongside the black metal vocals is PG-13. To put it another way, the formulaic black metal-influenced portions taste like Bud Light compared to a thick, hearty serving of Guinness.

How far the band has come in such a short span of time (Jakke Viitala formed the Finnish band in late 2007) is quite interesting indeed. It’s a double-edged sword they wield in that of course every band wants a great debut; however the pressure they’ll feel while writing their follow-up, one may presume, is going to be tremendous. Never mind exceeding the quality of As The Path Unfolds, but to meet the standard they’ve set would be a great feat indeed.

Original review at

Symphonic/progressive power/viking/folk metal, Finland
Full-length, Napalm Records
February 25th, 2009

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