Release by: Metalodic Records
Release Date: Out Now!!!
Genre: Progressive Folk Metal/Rock
Bruno Maia – Vocals, Guitars, Banjo, Flute, Mandolin
Alex Navar – Tin Whistle, Uilleann Pipes
Daiana Mazza – Violin
Edgard Brito – Keyboards
Diniz – Vocals, Guitars
Khadhu – Vocals, Guitars, Bass, Zither
Rodrigo Abreu – Drums
2. Curupira’s Maze
3. The Seim Anew
6. Póg mo thóin
7. The Seven Ears
8. The Keys To. Given!
Kernunna is the latest project from Brazillian musician Bruno Maia, who has brought along three other members from his main band Tuatha de Danann. Their debut release The Seim Anew was initially released in 2013, and has recently been re-released by Metalodic Records. The album features lyrics based on the James Joyce novel Finnegans Wake, and is quite the unique and diverse album, using folk metal as its base style, with a few interesting experiments throughout, and I have to say, I am quite impressed with it.
As stated above, The Seim Anew is quite diverse musically, with the one constant throughout each song being the presence of various folk instruments, which are often at the front of the mix, though not always. Aside from that, the sound changes quite a bit from song to song, and sometimes even in the middle of a song. There’s everything here from epic folk metal tracks, to traditional sounding Irish folk music, and most surprisingly, some very classic sounding progressive rock. Those sections particularly caught me off guard, as I wasn’t expecting that kind of sound at all.
Vocally it’s a fairly diverse album as well. Most of the time vocals are clean and what you’d expect from traditional folk music, but on occasion there’s some death growls, background screaming, and a lot of choir vocals throughout. The choruses tend to be very strong on most tracks, and the vocals are mostly very good all around.
The opening self-titled track is mostly a straight-forward folk metal song, opening with a nice acoustic guitar section before the folk instruments slowly take over. It has a very good chorus and overall it’s an excellent track and a fun way to open the album. One last thing that stands out about this song is the very 70’s sounding keyboards which show up in the background from time to time. These play a much more significant role later on, especially towards the middle of the album, when the progressive rock elements are especially dominant. The following track “Curupira’s Maze” is possibly my favorite on the album, as it’s another ultra catchy folk metal song, with some very fast passages where the folk elements are especially effective and an excellent chorus. Things slow down a bit with the title track, which turns to more of a folk rock sound, though it’s still an excellent song as well.
The first real surprise of the album comes with “Snark”, which really sounds like a 70’s progressive rock song, complete with the singer sounding awfully similar to a prime Geddy Lee at one point, and those retro sounding keyboards can be heard throughout. It also happens to have the least amount of folk elements out of any song on the album. The following track “Dreamer” sounds like it will follow suit, starting off very quietly with only the sound of an organ and some very subdued vocals, but then about halfway through it turns into a pretty epic folk rock song, with the folk instruments entering in during a particularly awesome instrumental section. While other songs have strong folk elements, the two most traditional sounding folk songs are the single “Póg mo thóin” and “The Keys To. Given!”. The former is an extremely fun and upbeat folk song in the most traditional sense and is also a contender for my favorite on the album just because of how addictive it is, while the latter is a more subdued folk ballad.
In between those two is the ultra quirky “The Seven Ears”, which alternates between calm folk sections, harsh vocal sections and most surprisingly a 40 second a capella section, which shows up about 3 minutes into the song and seems to come out of nowhere, though the band pulls it off very well. Last but not least is the near 10 minute epic “Ricorso” which feels like a combination of all the elements used throughout the album, and it has quite a few memorable sections of its. Definitely another highlight.
The Seim Anew is an excellent release, which combines elements of traditional folk music, metal and progressive rock in some very fresh and unique ways, making it an album that’s at times hard to pin down, but certainly easy to enjoy. Highly recommended for fans of folk music, progressive rock, and unique albums in general.
Written by Travis
Ratings Travis 8/10