Folkrim – On Foaming Waves (Inverse Records)

Wednesday, 19th October 2022
Rating: 8 / 10

Finland: the land of long winters, leading to a love of nature, alcohol consumption, and the need to creatively escape to remain sane. Perfect for a five-piece like Folkrim to develop out of one-man project beginnings into this second album in two years for On Foaming Waves. The immediate hook-oriented nature to most of these tracks lends itself to uplifting endeavors – the group incorporating facets of extreme, folk, and power metal across the spectrum, plus injecting occasional modern touches that aid the difference-maker nature that can help these musicians stand out against the hordes.

Vocalist Erno Helander has a multi-purpose role in the band, also executing the ‘folk’ instrumentation between ukulele, banjo, and mandolin that quickly has listeners swinging to and fro in jig-like sequences for “Rövarehumppa” and the title track, the latter containing killer electric rhythms/ double kick groove support providing sheer aural captivating bliss as the lyrics allow you to set sail to unknown horizons. These gentlemen obviously love their frothy beverages – alcohol flowing even in a more disco-dancing driven platform with its folk/cultural hooks and gang vocal support during “Crack a Cold One”, while “Drunken Song” starts as a Blind Guardian-esque ballad before the electric/acoustic tradeoffs kick in. When the band wishes to be faster/heavier, you see a bit of their thrash/melodic death side for opener “Blackout”, the guitar work exhilarating while the mix of Children of Bodom-esque screams and natural mead hall background vocals plus occasional blasting measures prove Folkrim can be metal to the bone when called for. The penchant for tempo diversity and mood shifts allows these tracks to capture your headspace at different times, depending on your mood – personal favorites include the gallop-fueled “Towards the Sun” plus the reflective, acoustic epic ballad “A Falling Tide” – the latter something one could imagine warming the hearts around a campfire only to transform into this circus-like Finnish theme nightmare during the final two minutes and change.

Pirate metalheads, Folkrim will slide easily into your ideal playlists through On Foaming Waves. Intertwining many different aspects of folk music and metal, they have an ideal pool of ideas to execute effectively, entertaining all the way.

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