I am so delighted to be able to cover another release from Furor Gallico, masters of Folk Death Metal, after having the pleasure of reviewing ‘Songs from the Earth’ back in 2015 as my very first EVER review here at Metal Discovery! What a wild trip it’s been, both for myself and for this ultra-talented group! This time around, we see just how far Furor Gallico have come in 4 years with this release. New producers, new mixer/master work with some HUGE names in the industry. Tommy Vetterli, who has worked with Kreator and Eluveitie, with Jens Bogren who is famous for mastering the works of Opeth, Amon Amarth and Dimmu Borgir! What does this translate to in this release, though? Have Furor Gallico maintained their style from their 2015 release or has it evolved into something new? Let’s find out!
‘Passage to a New Life’ achieves its goal of bringing forth a new era from the start. You’re thrown into a beautiful ambient sound of rustling drums and jingling chains, where, in the distance, you can hear a wolf howling into the night air. The acoustic riffs begin to fade in and you’re carried away into beautiful dark violins that immediately press an uneasy sound that you cannot escape from. The lyrics are also in English this time around!! I’m not sure how I feel about that, actually, as I loved the Italian vocals in everything I heard prior to this release. *sigh*… oh well.
‘The Phoenix’ offers beautiful walls of power riffs and emotional vocals that truly need to be experienced to be understood. This is a massive leap, quality-wise, in depth from previous releases. I’m honestly kind of shocked by how much this has changed in just 4 years. Like, there’s no way I would be able to tell you without knowing who I was listening to. I feel that this is some of the most polished work I’ve heard in ages, honestly! ‘Waterstrings’ follows with a soft harp-like intro with excellent female vocals. This quickly builds into a fascinating chorus that builds and builds into an impressive climax to be countered by calming piano.
‘Nebbia Della Mia Terra’ brings back memories of past FG work. Okay, here they are! The vocals are Italian, the style is very much reminiscent of what I’m used to. The quality of this track is very much improved as well. Excellent work! ‘Canto D’Inverno’ follows with a far more calming sound that brings more to the table an acoustic reprise with excellent male and female vocals. This track borrows heavily from some of Eluveitie’s past work, which is NOT a bad thing!
‘Starpath’ returns this new sound of FG that reaches heavily into their new basket of tricks. I was nearly settled into this album but then quickly shaken back to attention with this track. ‘Aquane’ should be considered as maybe the finest track on this release. Everything you would hope to hear from an amazing folk-death metal song is present here. Fast pacing, excellent build and transition from beginning to end. Truly a “killer track” if there ever was one!
‘The Sound of Infinity’ is a pretty acoustic/wind instrument intermission that prepares you for the incoming title track of ‘Dusk of the Ages’. Should be noted that of the 10 tracks on this release, there are 2 ambient offerings that create interesting segues into two very powerful tracks! ‘The Gates of Annwn’ closes the album off with a slow build that immerses you into a full bodied chorus, showing off some of the most powerful moments of the album. You do get a bit of rest in the seven and a half minutes in this track, so you’ll have plenty of time to reflect on the entirety of this album. For a few seconds there, I honestly thought I was listening to Amorphis towards the end of this track, too. Not a bad thing by any means, but hmmm… how do I say this…
Every aspect of FG has improved, the recording quality, the production quality, the vocals, as well as the blending of styles. Everything comes off as more polished and perfected… yet somehow I almost worry that FG lost a bit of their charm with this album release. Now, don’t get me wrong, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the tracks presented within ‘Dusk of the Ages’, each track is crisp and offers a welcoming sound that any folk death metal fan will love. Matter of fact, I think this release comes across as a much easier listen for new fans, but some of what made Furor Gallico truly stand out is missing now. Tracks like ‘Squass’ from their 2015 offering are nonexistent, and I almost fear that FG is now in search of their identity rather than continuing the momentum they had with their prior efforts.
If you love bands like Eluveitie or Arkona, you will absolutely enjoy this offering from Furor Gallico. It’s perfectly performed and pleasantly delivered to your ear holes for maximum enjoyment. I cannot say anything negative about the album itself; however, fans of their 2015 release, ‘Songs from the Earth’, might be thrown off by the band’s chameleon efforts to change their overall sound in favor of a more polished act. Either way, this is an awesome release and shouldn’t be missed!
DUSK OF THE AGES
Review by Joshua Jaeger
18th January 2019
1) Passage to a New Life
2) The Phoenix
4) Nebbia Della Mia Terra
5) Canto D'Inverno
8) The Sound of Infinity
9) Dusk of the Ages
10) The Gates of Annwn
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
"If you love bands like Eluveitie or Arkona, you will absolutely enjoy this offering from Furor Gallico."