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On disc: Vogelfrey

Wiegenfest - Mike Thompson - 9 stars


(Trollzorn Records - 2010)

Vogelfrey are a relative newcomer to that particularly German breed of 'Medieval Metal' exemplified by the likes of In Extremo and Letzte Instanz. In my experience its a marmite genre you either love or hate and it usually takes something very special for a band to stand out. Its my great pleasure to report that Vogelfrey have managed to achieve this rare feat!
Where many of the genres heavyweights fail for me is in not sounding 'rocky' or 'metal' enough and instead relying on barely-interesting medieval folk passages to lure in a listener. Vogelfrey have managed to successfully combine the essence of medieval sounding music with a traditional metal sound but still sound different to the myriad folk metal acts that are flooding the market at the moment.
The musicianship on this album is top class with each member of the sextet being allowed to shine. Possibly the strongest factor in my opinion is the vocal talent of Jannik. His voice is incredibly warm and a real pleasure to listen to. He generally sings in a clean voice but also shows his diversity by switching to a growl when the music calls for it.
As well as the drums, bass and guitar Vogelfrey use traditional instruments in the form of cello and violin, courtesy of Johanna and Alex respectively. These instruments really lift the music of Vogelfrey but the band are still powered forward by the metal foundation with interesting riffs and even some neo-classical style solos from guitarist Dennis!
I think this one will be getting many more spins from me! Definitely one of the strongest medieval metal albums I've heard and undoubtedly one of the best albums in the genre this year!

9 stars

Mike Thompson


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