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Review: Mag Mell - Revival
Mag Mell

Label: Goda Mjöd
Year released: 2009
Duration: 44:41
Tracks: 8
Genre: Folk Metal

Rating: 3.75/5

Review online: August 2, 2009
Reviewed by: Pagan Shadow
Readers Rating

Rated 3.75/5 (75%) (4 Votes)

In early 2009, a new label by the name of Goda Mjöd was formed. Revival is not only their very first release; it is also the debut album of a Minnesotan band named Mag Mell. This is actually a one-man project, brainchild of Séaghdha Aodhan. The only other person involved was Plastic Worm who contributed the electronics and ambiences found on track # 6, "Captain of the Fianna".

The musical direction of Mag Mell is Folk Metal. Revival blends a nice variety of traditional folk instruments, including thin whistle, fiddle, Irish flute, bouzouki and pipes with the heavier extreme metal artillery. In a way, Mag Mell reminds me of pagan act Crystal Moors. Even if the folksy elements are actually well represented, they have to fight against their louder counter parts. I found the bass especially too loud and the drum way too discrete, while the production itself is somewhat muddy. Some dissonance occurs in a couple spots, like on track #4, "Morrigan", where the fiddle sounds off key; or on "Captain of the Fianna", this time being caused by the riffs. "Man of Famine" and "Cet's Deception" are two very good compositions, both ranking amongst my favorite songs. The latter includes some clean strings instrument, most likely the bouzouki, in one of the rare occurrences. I would have wished for more acoustic tonalities, preferably acoustic guitars, which suit this genre of music very well. "The Fear Liath" is where you can hear more of those strings, besides being also a pretty nice instrumental piece. The closing track, "End of an Era", is another good instrumental in which you can hear some clean arpeggios.

Overall, Revival has a nice concept of folksy natures, and to blend it with Black Metal is a good idea. To make the concept more enjoyable to listen though, a better production would be helpful, while adding acoustic guitars would benefit the general feel a lot.

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