“Folk Metal” is such a wonderful genre as it covers a huge range of diverse styles. Through the six tracks (well, five and an intro) on Behind the Front Page, Italian band Atlas Pain bring together strands from a noticeable number of stalwarts.
Vocal styles are harsh – think Chrigel’s from Eluveitie. There’s a nice element of tuneful riffage which brings Tyr to mind. “The Storm” is a piratical track which makes me think of Alestorm. On more than one occasion the power feel of DragonForce peeps over the horizon. There are epic sweeps in many of the songs which have the mind picturing a sweeping vista from Lord of the Rings or similar. In other words, they drift out of the metal sphere entirely.
In short, my only real issue with the album is that it’s so short. Atlas Pain have a lot to offer and what they have offered here is excellent. Bouncy, catchy, and varied enough to almost sound like a compilation album coming from several different artists.
If I was to pick a stand-out track then I would probably go for “The Storm” although “Each Uisge” (lyric video below) is probably the next best for its fast-paced yet plaintive main riff and gorgeous bridge around two thirds of the way through.
Don’t think that the short length of this review is any reflection on this album. I just have a load to get through and wanted to make sure I had something up on the site before it’s released! Very highly recommended.
Behind The Front Page is out on May 18th as a free download (see the official website) or on CD at their merch stand! You can also download their 2014 demo from the website for free – look in the “Music” section.