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The Fighting Man
Released: 2015, Heidens Hart
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
Forefather are an English band consisting of two brothers, Athelstan and Wulfstan (possibly not their real names…). They formed the band in 1997 before folk metal became the phenomenon it is today and unlike many folk metal acts have been inspired by their own Anglo-Saxon heritage rather than Scandinavian/Viking.
‘The Fighting Man’ is Forefather’s second album and was was first released in 2000. It has been re-released in 2015 on the anniversary of the Battle of Hastings as the next title in the series of Forefather re-releases. According to the press release it is hailed by many as their best release, but how does it stand up to today’s fresh new releases?
The overall sound on this album is mid-tempo atmospheric black metal sparsely interspersed with catchy folk metal melodies, meaning Forefather are folk’ in the style of Ensiferum as opposed to the more blatant folk sound of Finntroll et al. However these folk melodies are in the style of English medieval folk tunes rather than Celtic. Soaring get doomy vocals tie it all together. Being more black metal than most folk metal today ‘The Fighting Man’ has a gloomier atmosphere than current folk releases and this dates the sound a little, as does the prog-rock out during ‘The Paths Of Yesterdays’ but the production quality stands the test of time.
This album would be of interest to fans of folk/Viking metal interested in checking out the history of the genre. Despite the age of this album it is refreshing to hear this genre influenced by a different heathen tradition.
1. The fighting man
2. A new dawn
3. Together they stood
4. For these shores
5. The call to arms
6. Out of darkness
7. The paths of yesterdays
8. The last battle
9. When our England died
10. The lady's gift
Wulfstan - Guitar, Bass, Lead/Backing Vocals
Athelstan - Guitar, Bass, Keyboard, Backing Vocals
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