So, I felt like getting something different. So, I picked up Kivimetsän Druidi’s “Shadowheart.” This album came out in 2008 and was the band’s debut. I enjoyed Folk Metal and I enjoy the stories that are centered around Viking Metal. But when you combine Folk Metal and Symphonic Metal together, the combination works well or it lands flat. Now, I am not a big fan of the Opera which is what Symphonic Metal is. But, I wanted to give this band a try. Upon listening to it, I gave it two thumbs down, because I am not into Opera music. But, not to be biased, I kept easing myself into it.
What we have here is a lot of ideas running rapid on this record and sometimes they run all together. Some of those ideas work well such as the Classical music influences. However, the Opera portions mixed with the harsh vocals is a bit much at times. There’s a lot of tempo changes and different melodies. It has some very catchy chorus lines. Structurally, this album is tight. Lots of good lead guitar work.There’s a lot of good riffs throughout the album. Plenty of decent bass lines. The drums are OK. Production wise, it’s not bad. The horns sections on a few of the songs are a bit overdone and drowns out the band in some areas. The sound is bold and very meaty. There’s a good bit of Black Metal influxes throughout many of the songs. There are some really good keyboard work throughout this record.
Leeni-Maria Hovila, the female vocalist tries her best, but sometimes her Opera style falls short of the male vocalist and guitarist Joni Koskinen. But on other songs, Leeni-Maria Hovila can hit those notes like no other. Hitting the strings of the guitar is Antti Rinkinen, and pounding the bass is Simo Lehtonen. Rounding out on the drums is Atte Martinen and bringing up the rear of the band is keyboardist Antti Koskinen.
“Shadowheart”is a good effort by Kivimetsän Druidi. It’s not my cup of tea, but, still it’s enjoyable to listen to once in a while. Would I recommend this album? Probably not so much unless, I know that the person I am talking to is into this style of music.
“Northwind – Prelude” – 1:29
“Blacksmith” – 6:01 (Jenni Onishko, Joni Koskinen, Antti Koskinen, Antti Rinkinen)
“Jäässä Varttunut” (“Grown Up Within Ice”) – 5:51 (Onishko, A. Koskinen, J. Koskinen)
“Halls of Shadowheart” – 4:36 (A. Koskinen, J. Koskinen, Leeni-Maria Hovila)
“Pedon Loitsu” (“The Spell Of The Beast”) – 5:57 (A. Koskinen, J. Koskinen, Lukas Pearsall)
“Burden” – 4:31 (Onishko, J. Koskinen, Ville Ryöti)
“The Tyrant” – 5:44 (A. Koskinen, J. Koskinen, Onishko)
“Tiarnäch – Verinummi” (“Bloodmoor”) – 2:33 (Hovila, J. Koskinen, A. Koskinen)
“Verivala” (“Bloodoath”) – 4:01 (Hovila, Ryöti, J. Koskinen, A. Koskinen)
“Korpin Laulu” (“Raven’s Song”) – 5:19 (Hovila, J. Koskinen, A. Koskinen)
“Mustan Valtikan Aika” (“The Era Of The Black Scepter”) – 7:00 (Rinkinen, J. Koskinen. A. Koskinen)
“Viimeinen Peikkokuningas” (“The Last Of The Troll Kings”) – 2:22
“Leaves” – 4:42