REVIEW: Elvenscroll – EP: Never to be Mourned

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Originally founded in 2006, folk metal act ELVENSCROLL from Kerava are united by their love for folk metal music. The band may not be yet known to bigger audiences around the world, but with their latest release, the EP “Never to be Mourned,” released on November 6th, 2021, via Inverse Records, the seven-piece is surely on the right path. Let’s dive more into their music and let you know our thoughts.

The EP appears to be the first release the folk metal act have put out, yet it shows already of great qualities that these songs possess. Opening with the strong “Relics,” the band is instantly reminiscent of legendary folk acts from Finland, such as ENSIFERUM and MOONSORROW. With the latter, they share a more black metal-infused sound and as such, there is a beautifully balanced blend between blast beats that are fast as lightning and engaging folk melodies.

“Return to Valhalla” continues with a faster pace and heroic keyboard melodies; while the overall song stays relatively strong, there are here and there a couple of moments that make the song feel a bit more awkward that it should. For instance, the rough production works very well with the rougher growls, but the dual (female and male) clean vocals feel a bit mushy in this song, especially because I feel that they need to pop out more to get a more epic sound. Regardless of its production though, the song does have a lot of groundbreaking moments that are enjoyable.

“Statue of Goddess” continues in a similar way – midway through there’s a great folky section with very nice rhythmic work, which continues for a while, up until a more atmospheric bridge takes over, focusing on simplicity only for a short while, before the metal extravaganza starts off again. The album twists again with a seemingly slower start in “Wayfarer’s Mourning”; the mid-paced track is another fine illustration of the band’s potential and the subtle folk melodies interlaced with the darker tone of the song work really well. The instrumental interlude that follows, “Kaiku tulevan sodan,” focuses on the cello and starts off with some pizzicato, as well as some drone strings, creating a very medieval folk atmosphere, after which the last track of the EP, “Wild Hunt” follows full-force. The track starts off very fast and furious and for me, is probably the highlight of “Never to be Mourned,” since it feels a bit different than the rest of the album, mainly because of piano melodies and organ work.

All-in-all, “Never to be Mourned” was a great listen for those who like folk metal. The band has a clear sound and is consistent throughout the whole album. The only pitfall of this record is the production – while production like this can work for underground bands and in genres as death and black metal, some of the elements used in ELVENSCROLL‘s music are quite epic and need to be heard. I’m not saying this is an album that should have sounded overly polished, but I guess it could have sounded a bit more balanced out and well-rounded. Nevertheless, the potential definitely is there and perhaps ELVENSCROLL could be the future of folk metal music in Finland!

Tracklist

1. Relics
2. Return to Valhalla
3. Statue of Goddess
4. Wayfarer’s Mourning
5. Kaiku tulevan sodan
6. Wild Hunt

Lineup

Jussi Kangasharju – Vocals
Anni Helenius – Vocals & Cello
Ismo Honkanen – Keyboards
Janne Lukki – Drums
JP Rusi – Guitar
Janne Karppinen – Guitar
Ville Kangasharju – Bass

Label

Inverse Records

Links

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Instagram
Bandcamp