Tersivel - For One Pagan Brotherhood
Original Author: The Uncreator
Album: For One Pagan Brotherhood
Genre: Extreme Folk Metal
01. As Brother We Shall Fight (06:07)
02. The Heathen Sun Of Revenge (04:20)
03. Far Away In The Distant Skies (07:45)
04. High Germany/ Erin's Jig (04:37)
05. And Fires Also Died Away (03:06)
06. Those Days Are Gone (04:00)
07. Tarantella Sicilianna (04:23)
08. We Are The Fading Sun (05:48)
09. Aeolian Islands (04:16)
10. Cosa Nostra (03:35)
11. Pagan Nation (07:47)
12. Cruzat Beer House Song (04:02)
Metal is for me, much more than music. It is a passion I will always love. I listen to every sub-genre there is, from Drone to Power Metal. Some genres however, as of late, have felt a bit stale to me. One of these genres is Folk Metal. There hasn't been a large abundance of anything that struck me deeply, that is until I picked up Tersivel's album, For One Pagan Brotherhood. A precise, and well produced sound that is not afraid to be straightforward heavy while still retaining its roots with soaring folk melodies.
Production and Tone: 9/10
The EP released last year I said could easily pass for album quality, and that is still the case for the EP itself. Then the actual sound of the album is much better; precise, colorful, textural ambient tones that create an easily breathable atmosphere within every song. From the opening of "As brothers we shall fight" until the conclusion with "Cruzat Beer House Song", the dual guitar attack from Lian Gerbino and Nicolas Nargrath will never fall under anything other than a tactical precision nuclear strike. The chords that ring out fade with perfection, the fast riffs have clarity, and the chuggy ones never get muddy or distorted. The acoustics are just what you would expect, bright and colorful tones that make you feel like you are around a campfire after celebrating a victory in war. I am impressed considering a lot of Folk Metal bands, as much as I love them, sometimes seem to not put enough thought into the sound of the guitars itself.
For One Pagan Brotherhood not only avoids this barrier, it destroys it with brute force.
Technique and Composition: 8/10
As for the riff themselves, they just make me smile. They are plain cool, fun, creative, heavy and brutal riffs that really give off an empowering vibe. The contrasts they draw for the individual songs are well executed, letting the other instruments have space to alter the mood and direction of the song. I cannot stress how awesome "Far Away In The Distant Skies" is, its deceptively simple and yet brilliantly performed, its hook will stay with you for a long time. "We Are The Fading Sun" is perhaps the most addicting song on the album, its riffs are a destructive blast, it reminds me of battle music from classic RPG's, its a hyped and naturally fluidic progress that makes bang your head. The melodies are full of life and vibrancy, each specific tone thought out for what purpose it would play, assuring its place in the song to be perfect.
Production and Tone: 9/10
I do not know Franco Robert personally, but I know - I just know for a fact - that this man plays old school RPG's and listens to Nobuo Uematsu. I only make this comparison out of great admiration for both musicians, for I do not make a contrast involving Nobuo Uematsu lightly. "And Fires Also Died Away" is such a beautiful example of this, Franco Robert creates an involving and complex atmosphere with such few notes, the effects placed on each tone are subtle, yet they bear the weight of the song. "We Are The Fading Sun" also has some ballsy key work as well, light-speed melodies and beautiful chords. The melodies are simply brilliant, he has a spark of creation that many keyboardists try and replicate, an originality comparable to Jordan Rudess if he played Extreme Folk Metal.
Sadly, I believe it is harder to have a more noticeable originality when it comes to keys, Franco Robert seems to overcome this with ease however.
Production and performance: 8/10
Ever been kicked in the face by an elephant? I hope not, but I suspect that the force exerted would create a low thunderous sound similar to Hernan Martiarena's drumming. The snare is not a typical shimmering snare I am used to in folk music. It's thick, low and punchy, and the same can be said for the kick - the perfect amount of punch in the mix, the triplets in "Pagan Nation" are a perfect example. They do not have an obnoxious low end that a lot of metal bands tend to have these days, even when the machine gun performances kick in they retain clarity. The toms are bright enough to have presence in the mix, They do not sound like the kits of Portnoy, Hanness Grossmann, or Ron Jarzombek, the crisper sound (and not that its a bad thing, I love the aforementioned drummers) but this music calls for some war-drums, and thats what I feel, a low and resonant end that punctures the airwaves.
Production and Sound: 8.5/10
Lian has come a long way since he first started, his voice is meant for this music. The gritty exotic flavor that folk metal is famous for is ever present in his executions. This time around however, he has improved enough to embed the choruses with more colorful melodies, an increased range and deeper personality. The contrast brought up by Nicolas is just perfect, he reminds me of Jari Maenpaa - an evil undertone that just further progresses Tersivel's delve into the world of extremes. Exotic and gritty clean vocals contrasted by evil black metal-esque screams and guttural growls, what is not to love?
Overall Impression: 9.5/10
Between the epic riffs, the Nobuo Uematsu and classic RPG melodies, powerful drums, and excellent vocals. I am simply sold. I love this album, through and through. Tersivel deserve world wide recognition and I hope they achieve it. For One Pagan Brotherhood is a distinct album in a genre difficult to find originality in, Pick it up and listen, this is a professional album with a professional sound, You will not regret it.