The Metal populace must be longing for an older time, what with the emergence in popularity of Viking, Pagan and Folk Metal. Band’s playing these styles are emerging all over, which is good thing in my opinion, so long as the quality stays high and avoids getting too watered down (although we all know that’ll happen eventually, just look at the 90s Power Metal boom). So with that we’re presented with KIVIMETSÄN DRUIDI, yet another Finnish Metal export (I would love to have a gallon of their water), playing rambunctious Folk Metal on their first full-length album, “Shadowheart”.
Unlike their countrymen in FINNTROLL and SHAMAN/KORPIKLAANI, KIVIMETSÄN DRUIDI aren’t jumping all about with Humppa-influenced Metal, but are no less lively. Instead, they bring a sort of Blackened, Power/Symphonic Metal feel to the Folk Metal genre. The melodies – carried out by a fair balance between guitars and keyboards – are presented in a mountainously grand scale, occasionally recalling FALKENBACH, and the vocals are an interchanging male rasp and female operatic croon. The rasps are well-performed and enjoyable, but the female vocals get to be a bit much at times. As for the rhythm section, the bass, as is so often the case, is almost completely buried, but the drumming is adventurous and shifty while staying well within the confines of the songs. Wrap all this up in a well-written and well-produced package, and the forest creatures will have something new to play at their next party.
(Online January 8, 2009)