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Review: Crimfall - As the Path Unfolds
As the Path Unfolds

Label: Napalm Records
Year released: 2009
Duration: 46:47
Tracks: 11
Genre: Folk Metal

Rating: 4.5/5

Review online: August 9, 2010
Reviewed by: Adam Kohrman
Readers Rating
As the Path Unfolds

Rated 4.27/5 (85.33%) (15 Votes)

Every once in a while, a debut comes along so fresh, vivid and powerful, that you have to wonder if the band has anything left to offer. That is the case with Crimfall's debut, As the Path Unfolds, the best album of 2009. This album is an expertly laid out and orchestrated mix of metal genres. From folk metal to black, to power and onto prog, Crimfall fill almost every nook and cranny of the metal spectrum. Seemingly effortlessly, the band can appeal to nearly every metal fan. The band go from majestic and triumphant power metal choruses, led by the gorgeous voice of Helena Haarparanta to lightning quick black metal passages with seamless transition.

I can't help but romanticize the mind of Crimfall's composer Jakke Viitala. There are so many ideas on this album, and they all fit together so perfectly. Playing an array of instruments, it's as if Viitala had these brilliant ideas flowing through his head for years without the means to produce and record them. These songs are long and epic, like a moving film soundtrack. Stringed instruments are used just as frequently as guitars, and even accordions get an occasional throw into the eclectic mix. Songs like "Wildfire Season" and "Ascension Pyre" are heroic and enigmatic, variegatedly incorporating a wider range of influences than nearly any other band, while remaining just as metal as any of them.

This album remains enrapturing from beginning to end, and like any grandiose saga, compels the listener with an almost narrative edge. Crimfall capture vivid emotion in a way that very few bands do. Let's just hope that they didn't get all their ideas out on the first album, and that this is the start of a grand career, and not that of a one album wonder. Sadly, they've been dropped from their record label, Napalm. Maybe though, without the constraints of a label, they'll be even more inspired.

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