So these past two days, I focused on two Folk Metal bands – Arafel and Vogelfrey. Arafel, from Tel Aviv, Israel, sings in English and Russian, and Vogelfrey, from Hamburg, Germany, sings in the love-of-my-life German. And we got two sweeping 5/5’s!
Arafel – Second Strike: Through the Flames of the Ages (5/5)
This band unfortunately doesn’t exist anymore, but I was lucky enough to see them live in Jerusalem a few years ago at the Yellow Submarine, during a metal night called Battle for Jerusalem. Then I discovered the last CD they released, For Battles Once Fought, which I find is the best thing to ever come out of Israel’s metal scene. So for Fun-a-Day, I decided to give one of their earlier albums a shot. Again, finding it for download was impossible, so I settled for streaming, and my love for this album was as immediate as it was for Battles. They way they incorporate the violin and the keyboard with the black elements of blast beats and pig squeal vocals is unreal. Every time the violin kicked in, I felt shivers down my spine and exclaimed with glee “I have got to get my hands on a copy of this! FUCK!!” In some songs, the pig squeals were accompanied with guttural growls, sometimes the violin melody accompanied and doubled the guitar solo, giving the songs a dimension that is incomparable in any other band. Terrific arrangements. Phenomenal vocals. Perfect record.
Vogelfrey – Zwolf Schritte zum Strick (5/5)
I remember streaming a couple of their songs on YouTube before my husband and I went to Wacken in 2014. And I loved their songs so much I just had to check out a full album. If I haven’t already said it, let me reiterate: I. FUCKING. LOVE. GERMAN!!! It just sounds so perfect with any metal sub-genre. And Vogelfrey sings only in German. It’s pure folk, but some of their songs are also heavy and rugged. And though most of their songs have clean vocals, they don’t sound like fucking boy bands as other clean vocal metal bands tend to sound. Plus, they include growls that sometimes seem to come out of nowhere, and this twist makes their songs into sheer metal rollercoaster rides. I also love how they sometimes sound like Melechesh with their quasi-Middle Eastern beats, with distorted guits and double-bass drum beats. Listening to their songs, I wanted to get up and start bellydancing while headbanging at the same time. Feed that corpse to the birds, bitch. Fucking LOVE Vogelfrey!
Peace, love and Folk Metal for all Metalfolk