Label : Red Rivet Records

Review by Tony Cannella

Hailing from France, the Symphonic Folk Metal band Niflheim formed around 2003 under the name Potatoes (seriously?), after changing their name to the better and more metal sounding Niflheim the band released a demo in 2006. In 2008 they released their debut full-length called “Once Upon a Cow” (again, seriously?). Now the band has returned with their newest piece of Symphonic Folk mayhem called “Personae”. The first thing that hit me is the fact that violinist Clara Danchin has a significant role within the band as the instrument is prominently featured throughout the duration of “Personae”. The power riffing of the opening number “Rock the Harem” gets things started and the song also features brief moments of extreme male vocals, but the majority of the singing goes to Aurore Gauthier. To be honest her voice does not strike me as anything out-of-this-world, but that is not to say that she is not a good singer. She is and she fits in perfectly within the frame work of Niflheim. The next track – and my favorite – is the ultra melodic “Holy Mushroom”, which starts off with a huge Running Wild-esque guitar riff before settling into a beautifully melodic mid-tempo metal groove. Of course ever present once again are the violins. “Deep” is next and has a bit of a 70s rock feel to it and shows the band is capable of some diversity. Moving along, “Birth of a Succubus” is a huge sounding song and has an epic feel to it. Other highlights include: “Spirits”, “The 13th Warrior” and “Blacksmith”. If you have a problem with violins as a main instrument in metal, than you may want to bypass this one. Fortunately the violins do not sacrifice any of the metal-ness on “Personae”, to the contrary this is pure metal and Niflheim are potent metal band.

Rating – 75/100

 

Tracklist

  1. Rock the Harem
  2. Holy Mushroom
  3. Deep
  4. Spirits
  5. The 13th Warrior
  6. The Blacksmith
  7. Watery Grave
  8. Birth of a Succubus
  9. Sailing South
  10. Happy Drunk Friend
  11. The 13th Warrior (Symphonic Version)
  12. Molly’s Tavern (Bonus Track)

 

Line Up

  • Aurore Gauthier – Vocals
  • Hicham Taoufik – Guitars
  • Sébastien Le Bruchec – Bass
  • Clara Danchin – Violin 
  • Emmanuel Chouart – Drums

 

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