|Review: Scimitar - Black Waters|
Year released: 2010
Genre: Folk Metal
Review online: March 10, 2011
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Perhaps inevitable that Alestorm would draw imitators, and Scimitar are definitely mining the same vein of folky metal with harsh vocals and the trappings of more extreme metal. Not that this is a ripoff or anything, but with the folky, reel-based melodies and the pirate theme, the similarity is undeniable.
The riffs here are decent, creating some energy without resorting to silly polka melodies or anything of that nature, and while Scimitar have a keyboard player, they don't abuse the keys like some other bands I could name, and this remains very guitar-focused, with some nice leadwork to boot. The songwriting, however, falls down on the job, with the usual kind of schizo approach folk metal falls into: tasty lead-ins and melodic interludes chopped up by a bunch of rat-tat-tat-bark-bark-bark hacking. The vocals on this album are a problem, as they range from a tasteless raspy bark with no character to awful narration ("Drink up me hearties!" in a croaky voice.) And some really out-of-place clean singing that sounds good, but belongs on a Jim Croce record, not on something that's making a claim to bad-assitude of any kind.
So for off-brand folkish muddling this is strictly middle of the road. Not so terrible you'll turn it off, but not so good that you'll listen to it again.
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