Dalriada - Mesék, álmok, regék - (9.5/10)
Published on July 26, 2015
Dalriada are probably Hungary’s highest profile metal band at the moment, with their folk metal having reached a surprisingly large fanbase and rewarding their years of hard work. Now many people will argue that the Magyars might be one of the leading folk metal bands, period, even though they have only recently really been able to tap into the commercial potential. Mesék, álmok, regék is a best-of album of some kinds, touching each of their seven albums to date and giving not only newcomers a great overview of how they have evolved throughout the years.
Now Dalriada are not your average folk metal, but they play in a league of their own, mixing at times quite heavy metal with flute and violin, the outstanding vocals (female and male, growls and screams, throat singing and excellent choirs). Compared to many of their contemporaries, though, the folk melodies and use of the instruments (especially the violin) are typically Hungarian, which this scene has not seen much of, giving the band a distinct sound of their own, which is worth a lot these days, where there are more bands popping up almost every day than even the most steadfast metalhead can even dream of discovering.
Setting out with the “A Walesi Bárdok” trilogy off their 2004 debut Fergeteg and racing through time to the final two tunes from their maybe best album to date, Napisten Hava, showing how the band progressed from more straight up metal to grand and epic all-out folk metal with violin and flute without losing its core character. Obviously the vocal duo of András Ficzek and Laura Binder is very responsible for the instant recognizability throughout the years, but the music around them is what makes Dalriada so outstanding, combining surprising heaviness in both guitars and drums with grand melodies, authentic Hungarian folk and make everything highly dynamic and contagious.
Even long-time fans will get something out of Mesék, álmok, regék, being able to get a cross-section through Dalriada’s whole career in a nutshell, while newcomers will be able to immediately immerse themselves in the grandeur of this exceptional Hungarian band. A great compilation of a great band!