Label: Bakerteam Records
Review by Warren Mayocchi
“Torn Banners” by Artaius is well described by the progressive folk metal tag. The band was formed in 2008 and has seven members. It is obvious that everyone in the band is competent in their craft, the songs are well performed. The album opens with my favourite track, in your face, screaming, folk metal – “Seven Months”. I like that track because the elements of the band complement each other well and the folk is more dominant than elsewhere.
Most songs on the album feature clean female vocals and growling/screaming male vocals. Musically there is much happening in every song, keyboards, flute, violin, drums, guitars as well as the vocals. The exceptions, with several musical elements absent, are “Pictures of Life”, a ballad, and “By Humans Claimed”. Both are slower paced, and only feature female clean vocals. All other songs have an aggressive metal approach with folk elements. There seems to be an attempt to include almost everything that the band can do in most songs. With several band members hammering away I feel that at times what they are trying to achieve is lost. As it is, many of the songs have a jam like feel to them. This may however be intentional – the band do aim for a progressive style which avoids traditional song structuring.
Artaius have created a generally fast paced album that clearly demonstrates their musicianship. Personally I prefer the band when their folk style dominates and they are playing more as a band than as a group of individuals, but I do respect them for pursuing a unique style.
Rating – 75/100
- Seven Months
- Eternal Circle
- The Hidden Path
- Pictures of Life
- Pearls of Suffering
- By Gods Stolen
- By Humans Claimed
- Torn Banners
- Sara Cucci – Clean vocals
- Francesco Leone – Scream & growl vocals
- Giovanni Grandi – Keyboard & synth
- Elena Mirandola – Violin
- Massimo Connelli – Guitars
- Enrico Bertoni – Bass & backing vocals
- Alessandro Ludwig Agati – Drums & percussions