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Review: Dalriada - Igeret

Label: AFM Records
Year released: 2011
Duration: 51:27
Tracks: 11
Genre: Folk Metal

Rating: 4/5

Review online: April 5, 2011
Reviewed by: Christopher Foley
Readers Rating

Rated 4.55/5 (90.91%) (11 Votes)

And the winner of most metal album cover of the year goes to... Dalriada! Hungary's own Dalriada have been slugging it out for years now, with five full-lengths already under their collective belts and this, Ígéret, is the band's sixth and their first for AFM Records. I can't comment on the band's previous work, as they've unsurprisingly slipped under my radar until now. Obviously since they're with AFM now the band should be able to find a wider audience, and it would seem they might already have too as there has been a certain level of buzz around this release. With folk metal being as popular as ever, Dalriada are in a good position, that position made all the better due to the fact that Ígéret is a damn good record.

Of course the main factor in whether you will like this or not is how much folk metal you can tolerate in your diet. These guys and gal make no apologies and have no restraints on their Hungarian folk influence, it's brazen and massively in your face. One listen to album opener "Hajdútánc" and you'll see clear as day what Dalriada are about. I found it hard to take this album and band seriously, yet there is no way I can deny the quality shown on Ígéret. Singer Laura Binder has a charming voice, comedic at times but perfect for the music, even her harsh vocals are quite brilliant. Musically this is superb, best described as a pizza; the base being power metal topped with all sorts of folk instruments, Hungarian melodies, clean and harsh vocals, and well placed bursts of proficient playing, be it wicked guitar solos, keyboard solos, or a good old fashioned folk break.

This is a dead cert for folk metal fans, and more open-minded power metal fans would certainly do well to check this out too, and this is way cooler than Korpiklaani, or Eluveitie or whatever the folk kids are proclaiming as awesome these days. Tracks such as "Mennyei Harang" and "Leszek A Csillag" show this band at their very best, the former of which verges on beautiful, and that keyboard outro never fails to knock my socks off. The latter, again verging on beautiful has an amazing middle part with lush pianos over a thumping riff which reprises later in the track, complete with harsh vocals. Of course those looking for the more immediate should look no further than "Hajdútánc" and the awesome title track. Overall Ígéret is certainly a winner in my eyes, and almost mandatory for folk fans. Recommended.

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