Sunday, June 22, 2014

Sylvatica - Evil Seeds

Sylvatica are a folk/melo-death metal band from Denmark that sounds like some of the bands that popped up in the Finnish scene in the early years of the 2000s. They formed in 2009 and have released an EP, a couple of singles and a compilation album. This is their debut, entitled Evil Seeds, and it shows a band that has taken what was done by bands like Ensiferum and Turisas and expanded on it just a bit to create an album that is actually pretty good despite not really bringing anything really new to the table. The mix of melodic death metal with the folk riffing create nice melodies. A lot of this reminds me of Ensiferum's debut, which is not a bad thing.

This riffs on this album are crunchy at times while they use the lead melodies to add the folk sounds. The vocals are your typical death growls that actually work here. After a brief piano intro we have "Psychopatica" which has some nice melodies over top of the riffing. There's some blast beats in there as well but the guitars drive this song. After the intro riffing we have some sweep arpeggio leads that are nicely placed and not sounding pretentious. This song is an epic song that has some nice acoustic interludes as well. All in all this is what you will expect on the rest of the album. My only gripe is that at seven minutes this could have been shortened a bit or inserted some slick lead solos used to make it overly epic. Even though it's a good song, I was expecting that climax that never came.

"The Ascension" starts with some interesting riffing in the beginning that actually leads to a Moonsorrow sounding  melody. The riffs over the blast beats are good with some tremolos and some thrashers mixed in. The folky lead riffing in there adds to the melody of the song. They even throw some traditional metal riffing into the mix here adding a bit more dimension to the song. The title track is a straight up thrasher with some nice riffing and some nice leads melodies thrown in. This is more of a straight ahead melo-death metal song for the most part but leads to a nice acoustic and melodic lead part halfway through. Once the song gets rocking again the leads are really nice and melodic although there isn't an actual solo in there. As a matter of fact, this band doesn't really play solos on this but, instead, the leads are actually part of the melodies of the songs. The guitarist is quite talented and plays some nice sweeps, I just would have liked to have some proper solos in some of the songs. The leads on "God of the Gallows" are just killer and shows the capabilities of this young band.

As I said, this band is young and even though they don't really  bring anything new to the table, they are still a talented band. They have an interesting take on what was done previously and that makes for an enjoyable album. Some of the songs just don't reach the plateau that I was looking for. The album closer, "Sect of Sleep," is probably the best song on the album and is both epic and heavy to create that perfect balance. If they used that same formula in all of their songs this would have been an album that was close to perfect. I think that this band has the potential to do great things as long as they can take their songwriting to the next level. Overall, I enjoyed the album and am looking forward to what they do next.

Thanks to Markus Eck from for the digital promo.


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