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Metsatöll comes from Estonia, a former republic of the U.S.S.R. which is again sovereign for more than fourteen years now.
In the past the Estonians always had to fight against oppression and conquerors (the Germans, Danes, Swedes, Poles and Russians) and these are exactly the topics Metsatöll mainly writes about; the rich history of Estonia and the ongoing battle for freedom throughout the ages.

This, combined with folk melodies and ancient folk instruments like bagpipes, flutes and acoustic guitars results in a folk metal album with more folk than used by for example genre-brethren like In Extremo and Tanzwut. It’s really a case of folk music with a metal touch. That doesn’t mean that this album doesn’t rock though; even when Metsatöll uses an eighteenth or nineteenth century song as a basis for a song the addition of electric guitars and drums makes it sound like metal.

It does take some time to get accustomed to the way the vocals sound; all is sung in old Estonian runo-singing but once you get the hang of it, it is perfectly fit for the music.

The tracks are a combination of up-tempo folk-metal tracks and pure folk/traditional tracks which are the points of rest on “Hiiekoda”.
The lyrics are in Estonian but there are English line notes in the (beautiful) booklet so anyone can read what the story is about.

Metsatöll seems to be a big name in Estonia, they been awarded the Estonian Music Award and received the highest possible ratings in the Estonian media. This is of course partly to the fact that the culture and traditions of the Estonian people have always been suppressed by the invaders; all activities to preserve these are heartily welcomed. Ignoring this fact and the fact that I’m not Estonian myself I’m still left with a positive impression of this album. It has a very distinct own sound and that is always to be appreciated. The production is very good and the intentions of the band are sincere so if you are into folk/pagan metal you should really give them a chance.

Author: Roy
Zine: Rockezine

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