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Review: Furthest Shore - Chronicles Of Hethenesse Book 1: The Shadow Descends
Furthest Shore
Chronicles Of Hethenesse Book 1: The Shadow Descends

Label: Skaldic Art
Year released: 1999
Duration: 49:15
Tracks: 10
Genre: Viking Metal


Review online: December 14, 2004
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers' Rating
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Rated 3.63/5 (72.5%) (8 Votes)

This is some pretty good Viking Metal. Furthest Shore were an ambitious band from Finland who obviously had high hopes for their debut, calling it "Book 1". I use the past tense in reference to the band as this was released in 1999 and there has as yet been no follow-up, and the band still has no website, so I am assuming they are defunct.

The music on this CD is sweeping and epic in scope, very similar to the music on Falkenbach's last album. The riffs are folky and slow to midpaced, with some keys to provide lilting melodies, some background, and atmosphere. Vocals are all clean, and delivered in that Viking-Folk baritone. They aren't bad, but they are a bit weak in places. Not too distracting, but they could use some work. The songs here are all pretty good, but they are not as heavy as I would like, and there is a distinct tendency on the part of the band to go on too long. The songs are enjoyable, but they all seem to go on just a little longer than they should, and the album as a whole drags towards the end. Too much of it is at the same pace, and the limited range of the singer makes the vocals sound kind of monotonous after the album is about half over. Still, Furthest Shore do conjure up some genuine feeling and mood here, and I would have been interested to see what they could do with more time to gel as a unit and work on their songwriting.

"Chronicles Of Hethenesse" has flaws, but it is for the most part an entertaining album, and fans of Viking Metal will likely not be disappointed. This isn't a lost classic or anything, but it is fun.

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