It’s no secret that ever since their first EP “Briganti Di Montagna” I’ve been a huge fan of Bergamo’s FOLK STONE and their medieval Folk Metal and “Damnati Ad Metalla” still is a genre classic in my book, so there was no stopping me when their latest album “Il Confine” became available.
If you know early IN EXTREMO, then you have a rough idea of what the Bergamasci have to offer, just with their own twist: a very strong mix of Metal with bagpipes, bombards, woodwinds, tambourin, a harp (you would not think that this brittle instrument could make such a huge difference and give such a special touch to heavy music) and more authentic instruments from the north of Italy. Last year’s “Sgangogatt” had taken me a bit by surprise with its acoustic approach, but in the year 2012 Metal is firmly ruling FOLK STONE’s realm once more!
I’ve always loved the energy and freshness of FOLK STONE’s brand of powerful Folk Metal and “Il Confine” is no exception at all! I don’t know what exactly it is about this nine-headed Italian monster, but they just have this special touch. The opening title track shows the band a bit darker and with a slightly more modern guitar sound and reduced Folk, but “Nebbie” right after takes us on a furious wild romp through the hills and forests around Bergamo with power and energy to boot. Setting out with a lead bagpipe it quickly evolves into a very upbeat track that unites all of their strengths and show them at the forefront of today’s Folk Metal.
The diversity of the band is shown also in other tracks, such as the voice-driven, intense “Omnia Fert Aetas” or defiant “Non Sarò Mai”, which is continuing the band’s tradition of hymns that any army could hurl in the face of any attackers to display their resolution.
Uniqueness is a label that is very hard to attach to a band, especially these days, yet I feel that FOLK STONE deserve said adjective, since their use of bagpipe harmonies embedded into a firm bed of Metal together with the characteristic rough Italian vocals of fronter Lorenzo make pretty much every track characteristically FOLK STONE without ever getting close to sounding samey, which is a great accomplishment.
With “Il Confine” FOLK STONE are able to cement their position as one of the strongest forces in contemporary Folk Metal, no way around this, now where is the record deal for this amazing band???
(Online August 3, 2012)