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I`d like to introduce you to Estonia`s 2004 equivalent of the Grammy`s winner for "Best Metal Band of 2004"; Metsatöll, who consist of some of Estonia`s best musicians from bands like Human Ground (who I really recommend) and Loits.

Metsatöll is a brilliant a Viking/Pagan/folk heavy metal band that lie somewhere between Korpiklaani, In Extremo, Butterfly Temple, Lumsk and Skyclad. Not really black or death metal, but a more classical form of true heavy metal glossed with oodles of ethnic instrumentation and vocals. The bagpipes and other traditional instruments of Lauri Varulven are what give this album its superb and authentic ethnicity that backs the sturdy metal and the "Yoik" singing of Kuriraivo that is equally impressive in conveying elements of national heritage and epic history with many of the songs being metal interpretations on traditional Estonian hymns and tales. Most of the material my be a little tame for you chain mail clad fans of Moonsorrow, Obtest or Finntroll, but on a purely ethnic level, these guys are just as good have apparently have far more widespread appeal.

Many of the 18 tracks are folk based chants and incredibly catchy (if incomprehensible) ditties that you will be humming despite the language barrier; "Ma Laulaks Seda Luguda", "Saaremaa Vägimees", "Kui Meid Sõtta Sõrmitie", "Merimees Menneb Merele", "Velekeseq Noorkõsõq" all will have you quaffing ale around a fireplace singing along in no time. The other tracks are similarly anthemic but more burly and robust as the likes of "Rauavanne", "Sõjahunt", "Merepojad" and "Hundi Süda" mix the ethnic/folk atmosphere with generally mid paced heavy metal riffs and structures and also give you English explanations of the songs lyrics and origins. Metsatöll can get a litte more ballsy at times as heard on the statterung "Sajatus", the lurching "Kotkapojad", and even a blast beat heard on "Hiiekoda".

Whether purveying brilliant ethnic storytelling or a more direct but still enthralling heavy metal, Hiiekoda is a must have for folk/pagan fans even if lacking latent aggression, it makes up for it with lucid compositions and a rousing blend of metal and folk elements that seem naturally mixed to produce a truly captivating album.

Author: Erik Thomas
Zine: Digital Metal

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User comments for this release:

Simon  26.01.2006 20:49
Metsatöll is the best GROUP in the world. thanks you for you're music.

I from in Belgium

ranno  14.04.2006 12:25
cool mehed pange täijega edasi :D

Not Important  28.06.2006 20:26
The song's weird, but very cool! Like a lot to hear it.. I'm from Brazil.

Paul  06.02.2007 07:55
Love it! Love the mission of the music too.

Thiago  22.10.2007 03:36
I'm from Brazil too,

good music, good band

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