Furor Gallico has become an overnight powerhouse in the folk/Celtic metal scene in recently. Having grown by leaps and bounds since their 2008 ‘390 B.C.- The Glorious Dawn’ demo, Furor Gallico has released two albums and toured the world with the likes of Elvenking, Stratovarius and Eluveitie. The experience of performing with such talented acts as these has clearly rubbed off on this up and coming group. Their newest release, ‘Songs from the Earth’, has been released with a new lineup featuring Federico Paulovich or Destrage on drums.
I must be honest that, before writing this review, I was fairly unfamiliar with Furor Gallico and their body of work. After having one complete listen to ‘Songs from the Earth’, I did a bit of research to find out so much about this wonderful group. Origins: the first members of the band were Melissa Milani (bass), Stefano Centineo or Ste (guitar and vocals) and Elisabetta (Becky) Rossi on Celtic harp. After adding violin (Laura Brancorsini) and a second guitarist (Oldhan), they quickly started to play live shows in 2007. This core group would wind up playing many dates leading up to them recording their first demo in 2008. They have gone through a few line-up changes, with Melissa leaving shortly after ‘390 B.C.’, which was the most impactful as she was a driving force from the beginning and getting the demo recorded. With the build up to their self-produced 2010 official first recording/album, self-titled as ‘Furor Gallico’, Simone Sgarella on drums, Fabio on bass (replacing Melissa) and Paolo on tin/low whistle and bouzouki joined Furor Gallico, offering their collective services. In addition to this, they composed music for the opera ‘Hamlet’ in Northern Italy!
I’ve heard my fair share of amazing Celtic/folk acts over the years, from Ensiferum and Turisas to Finsterforst and Týr. I’m completely shocked at how well Furor Gallico mixed this wide range of sounds throughout the album. Alex Azzali did the mixing/editing work at Alpha Omega Studio and really should be commended on his terrific work with this band. If they can continue to keep this partnership together for a while there are no limits to their potential! Alex has also worked with bands like Behemoth and Carcass in the past, so his resume speaks for itself.
The very opening of ‘The Song of the Earth’ really does establish a tone for the entire album with a very eloquent instrumental, then some somewhat abrupt, crunchy metal guitars and growling vocals. There are breaks of beauty, intense guitars, exceptional drums all mixed in one track. I felt that, while it is a great way to open the album, it is actually one of the weaker tracks on ‘Songs from the Earth’. This and the final track ‘Ermita’ are two of my least favorite songs. While they are very interesting listens and don’t necessarily bring down the album’s overall feel, they just kind of come off leaving me wanting more.
‘Songs of the Earth’ is filled with ‘Killer Tracks’ but, in all seriousness, you just need to experience it from beginning to end. If I was asked to pull out three tracks that seem to stand above the rest, which is an extremely difficult task, I would have to say ‘Nemàin's Breath’, ‘To the End’ and ‘Squass’. However, ‘Nemàin's Breath’ wouldn’t be as impactful without the transition from the track just before it and ‘To the End’ probably sounds out of place if I just listened to it on its own. The flow of the entire album really cannot be understated. When you listen to ‘Squass’ now, that track can stand on its very own in any situation. This song has absolutely everything you could ever want with the bass intro and a funky/blues beat accompanying that jams right into a totally skankworthy guitar riff! There are too many inspirational music stylings in this one song to even list! If I take one track from this album to introduce someone unfamiliar with the genre/style/band, this is the track. It’s a 10/10 from beginning to end.
It has been absolutely my pleasure enjoying the album throughout and I am very thankful to be exposed to a new group to add to my library of top notch Celtic metal bands. If you are a fan of folk or Celtic metal, or any metal in general, I strongly urge you to give this album a try. It’s the real deal and a treat from beginning to end.
SONGS FROM THE EARTH
Review by Joshua Jaeger
16th February 2015
1) The Song of the Earth
2) Nemàin's Breath
3) Wild Jig of Beltaine
4) La Notte Dei Cento Fuochi
7) Steam Over the Mountain
8) To the End
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
"...the real deal and a treat from beginning to end."