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Review: Skyforger - The Battle of Saules
The Battle of Saules

Label: Paragon Records
Year released: 1998
Duration: 40:15
Tracks: 9
Genre: Black/Folk Metal

Rating: 5/5

Review online: March 24, 2007
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating
The Battle of Saules

Rated 4.2/5 (84%) (10 Votes)

This was the full-length debut for the mighty Skyforger, Latvia's greatest export and one of the world's finest Folk Metal bands. Long unavailable through any kind of normal channels, at last Paragon Records has re-released this masterwork so that those who came in late can finally get their hands on a real copy.

For their first album Skyforger were much more a straight Black Metal band. The first track is an all-acoustic folk song that sets the mood nicely, but on track two they crank up the metal and they never really slow down. This album is faster and less epic than later works, but the brilliance that makes Skyforger great shines through with the great riffs. As always, Skyforger get a great guitar sound and they don't waste it, wringing out some great riffs and melodies. Here and there they will break into a flute piece or some chanted clean vocals, but overall this is a very straight-ahead album, direct and aggressive. But even this early the band are masters of dynamic, and they always keep things exciting, spiking the tunes with hooks and twists so that they never, ever get boring.

There is a reason why Skyforger are so revered in the underground, as they have yet to produce an album that is not great. The power and pride of their music never fades, and even after many, many listens I am always captivated by this band. This is an album you don't want to turn off, even if you have to be somewhere, even if you need to go right now, you can't make yourself turn it off. Highly Recommended.

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