Warseid - A New Land to Find - (8.5/10)
Published on May 11, 2017
Warseid are a symphonic folk/black metal outfit from Madison, Wisconsin. It is great to see the US finally getting in on this game. Better late than never as they say. They have released a few EPs but A New Land to Find is their first full-length album. Despite being released at the beginning of February, it slipped through the cracks and missed the radar of many fans of the style.
The first thing you notice about Warseid’s sound is the strong symphonic presence. The keys are used primarily for atmosphere and added sonic fullness but they also contain melodies most of the time which is refreshing to hear. It is also nice to hear that Warseid are not using them as a crutch since the keys do not fill every minute of this album. They do not come in until half way through “In Themselves They Believed” and when they show up, they are glorious and advance the melody quite well. Overall, the keys provide great atmosphere for this album’s sound, particularly on “When the Ravens are Fed,” which might be the best song on the album.
The riffing is a point of interest on this album as it features both harsh black metal riffing and heavy, more folk metal type riffing. There is a little bit of tremolo picking on here but a lot of the riffs are heavier and geared towards driving the melodies and songs forward. For example, the opening track “Dragons in the Mist,” features a bit of tremolo picking and a lot of galloping folk metal riffs as well as some heavier, crunch riffs. Combined with the melody of the blasting symphonics, this engages the listener right away, making them curious and interested to hear what is to come. “In Themselves They Believed” and “When the Ravens are Fed” have the best riffs on the album, with the tone being nice and thick for maximum crunch. “Between Shadows” also features a nice little acoustic section, which is always great to hear in this style.
The drumming on this record is solid and showcases just enough variation to keep things interesting. Most of it is standard fare for the style with solid fills and drum beats backing up the rest of Warseid’s sound. However, Kellan does throw in faster sections once in a while with blast beats and double kick to give the album that black metal edge. He also throws in some nice percussion on “When the Ravens are Fed,” enhancing the album’s quality. Warseid’s vocals are very solid as well, really nailing that harsh, raspy quality that many symphonic black metal fans have used to great effect.
In a very pleasant surprise, there is actually quite a bit of folk instrumentation used on this album. It is most prominent on “When the Ravens are Fed” with violin and harp lending variety and quality to A New Land to Find. Most straight folk metal bands use plenty of folk instrumentation but it is less of a staple in folk/black so it is great to hear Warseid use it effectively. Really the biggest thing holding this album back is the production. It is decent but some of the cymbal hits sound messy and it can be difficult to understand the lyrics some of the time. The good news is, this is just their debut and the production can only get better with time along with all the other elements of their sound. Still, this is a great record that is definitely worth a few listens for fans of this style.