Kivimetsän Druidi - Betrayal, Justice, Revenge
Folk metal, extreme metal or fantasy metal, whatever you want to call Kivimetsän Druidi, they make quite an epic noise. Betrayal, Justice, Revenge is the Finnish six-piece’s second album after 2008’s Shadowheart and it’s pretty typical of the metal scene that is coming out of these parts of Europe. Chugga chugga riffs and atmospheric keyboards are in order for much of the album, at times sounding pretty samey and repetitive. But what they may lose in terms of excitement, they gain back in spades due to angel-voiced vocalist Leeni-Maria. Her operatic vocals turning tracks like ‘Aesis Lilim’ and ‘Chant of the Winged One’ into grandiose slabs of fantasy filled metal. The thrashier parts of the album such as ‘Seawitch and the Sorcerer’ bring some welcome variation to the table as well while 'The Visitor' has a melodic death-metal feel to it. There is no denying this band do what they do with great aplomb and tight musicianship, but there's only so much Leeni-Maria's vocals can do to elevate this above being merely average.