Wolfchant
Embraced By Fire


3.5
great

Review

by Magnus Altkula STAFF
March 12th, 2013 | 47 replies


Release Date: 03/01/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: It might look and even be a bit cheesy, but Embraced By Fire is a lot of fun

I have never thought of German as a particularly beautiful language (no disrespect). With that said, when it comes to folk metal vocals, there aren’t many languages that are better suited for channeling the primeval essence that comes with the territory. The thing is, the German language has a certain power behind its words, like it was meant from the start for rallying troops or sharing ideas to a wide audience. So when Embraced By Fire’s third track "Element" rolls around, which is sung entirely in German, it’s nigh impossible to resist shouting along to the uber-catchy chorus in jubilant fashion, never mind the fact that it remains hazy what’s actually being said. Coincidentally, that’s what Wolfchant are all about: having a bloody good time, with no questions asked. The band’s brand of colorful power-folk is nothing new under the sun, but hot damn is it captivating.

Embraced By Fire starts in an unexpected but interesting fashion, as the intro track introduces us to Pirates of the Caribbean like orchestration, with distant drums, dominant brass sections and lively strings setting the scene for the title track which, in order to add to the oddness, takes a completely different route compared to what the intro had set up. The buoyant orchestration remains, but quickly gives the lead over to guitars and harsh vocals, as more traditional-sounding melodies (regarding folk metal) start to dominate. This blend sounds incredibly joyous and upbeat, with no evident signs that six men wearing war paint are behind the music. There is a lot going on, not only in the title track, but on the whole album, as spry guitar melodies play over swift drum patterns, keyboards, interchanging vocals and occasional symphonics. It all comes together better than expected though, as Wolfchant sound like a exultant, more kinetic version of Ensiferum (and that’s saying a lot). The drums, being the backbone of the band’s sound, almost never stray from blast-beat speeds as the remaining members of Wolfchant follow and plow through the tracks with unmatched vigor. There simply is no stopping this folk machine headed for battle (or a village dance, who knows, these guys seem too jolly to be up for taking lives).

This barrage of, well, everything can become somewhat exhausting for the listener, though. There is close to no variation in the songs when it comes to tempo and although the melodies and solos are outstanding, the relentless folky whirlwind eventually takes its toll. The middle of the album runs together a bit too much and it’s hard to pinpoint any true highlights because of that. Embraced By Fire is a mosher’s wet dream come true, but for the casual listener, it might just be too speedy for its own good (the only calmer song is the mid-tempo "Autumn’s Breath", which is incidentally one of the best/most distinguishable cuts on the album as well). That’s not to say the album isn’t a worthy listen, because it is, very much so – as said, the melodies are great and the band knows how to use keyboards and orchestration in a way that they don’t become overbearing. One just has to be in a specific mood to enjoy these frantic 43 minutes of power-folk.

To sum it up, Wolfchant are offering folk metal at its most catchy and vigorous on their fifth full-length album. They obviously took the criticism regarding their last few records being a bit stale to heart, as Embraced By Fire has elevated levels of everything. The songs are fast, eventful and broad when it comes to depth, even if the never-changing tempo makes it hard to notice at first. The role of the orchestration has grown compared to the band’s previous releases, but it fits into their sound like a fist to the eye, which makes it a welcome expansion. Wolfchant are presenting a no holds barred onslaught of upbeat folk metal with Embraced By Fire – an album that is bound to be one of the catchiest releases of the year in the genre. It’s lively, fun and entirely riveting. Grab your viking helmet and your tankard, it’s time to pillage and party.



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user ratings (19)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
March 12th 2013


8394 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Probably my last review for a while because uni really got into gear again. Wanted to review something fun before descending into hundreds of pages of text.

Tyrael
March 12th 2013


20978 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

album's a lot of fun

gr8 rvw

FrozenVain
March 12th 2013


2486 Comments


Yeh this is a really good album. I have been quite into this band recently and I gotta say that they are really underrated.

"They obviously took the criticism regarding their last few records being a bit stale to heart"

I didn't know that they recieved bad critcism for COTBW. I think it's really good.
Nice work, Magnus.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
March 12th 2013


7127 Comments


I've got this coming - your review at least told me i'm not wasting my money : ]

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
March 12th 2013


8394 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

You definitely aren't if you're into this style of metal, ipod. And yes, Tyr, it really is a lot of fun (I'd give this a 3.7 if I could, but alas, I can't). Btw, what's your favorite track off this? Mine's probably Autumn's Breath or Winter's Triumph (and I absolutely love the intro track).

@FrozenVain
Yeah they kinda did for it not being up to the standards of A Pagan Storm. And yeh, I honestly thought that they were a more well-known band in their circles, but it seems I was wrong.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
March 12th 2013


7127 Comments


I might have to a write up when i get it : ] Thanks Greybeard.

Hawks
March 12th 2013


35837 Comments


This sounds awesome. Never listened to these guys before, but I've heard they were pretty cool from a few people.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
March 13th 2013


8394 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah they are. Check this out and if you enjoy it, get A Pagan Storm and their debut as well.

foxblood
March 13th 2013


6797 Comments


never heard these guys but i'm kinda interested, prob wouldn't start here though. a pagan storm has an amazing cover so might have to get

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
March 13th 2013


16496 Comments


A Pagan Storm was good but I honestly haven't listened to it in years. Might get this but not sure, will probably check out a few tracks on youtube first.

YankeeDudel
March 13th 2013


9313 Comments


didnt really like what i heard from this. not my style maaaaan.

Digging: Land Of Kush - Against The Day

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
March 13th 2013


20166 Comments


Nice review I enjoy me some folk metal will check

Digging: Johann Sebastian Bach - Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 in D major, BWV 1050

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
March 13th 2013


8394 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5


A Pagan Storm was good but I honestly haven't listened to it in years. Might get this but not sure, will probably check out a few tracks on youtube first.
I know, I smiled a little when I noticed that you had reviewed that album (and dat intro you had, ahh, good ol' times eh haha).

@foxblood
Yeah you might as well go for A Pagan Storm because that album rules.

Too bad Yankee, but this definitely isn't for everyone, so understandable. And I hope you enjoy this, Atari.

KjSwantko
March 13th 2013


9448 Comments


"It might look and even be a bit cheesy..."

haha understatement of the year. Nice review, Styles; I'll give these guys a listen.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
March 13th 2013


8394 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

What I meant was that it's not quite as cheesy as it looks, haha.

Gigglesdemon
March 13th 2013


187 Comments


This seems pretty sweet. I've been looking for some more epic folk music, so I'll check this out. And I totally agree, folk metal in German just seems to sound better and more epic.

Acanthus
March 13th 2013


9545 Comments


Sounds fucking awesome, love the recommended section so I'll try to chec this out later tonight.

DarkNoctus
Contributing Reviewer
March 13th 2013


8948 Comments


their other two albums were awful so i'm not sure i'll try this, good review tho [:

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
March 13th 2013


8394 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Depends which albums you heard. I personally think that A Pagan Storm is great, while their last two before this one were kind of drab. And thank you [:

Acanthus, this has your name all over it, and Gigglesdemon, if that's what you've been looking for, this should be right up your alley.

Tyrael
March 13th 2013


20978 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

'Btw, what's your favorite track off this?'

Element is probably my favourite, I love the intro :]



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