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Harpyie – Blutbann

by Alex Barnard at 04 December 2021, 9:49 PM

HARPYIE is a Folk Metal band from Westphalia, Germany. “Blutbann” is the band’s seventh full length album, which will be released by Metalville Records on January 28, 2022.

I’ll get this out of the way: if you’re a fan of Folk Metal/HARPYIE, you’ll enjoy this record. Objectively speaking, it is well produced, and the band is clearly very talented. Based on these aspects alone, it’s a good album.

But when I review LPs, I have one main criterion that is so much more important to me than anything else, and that is if the record has good riffs. You could have an album that sounds like it was mixed in a toilet bowl, but at the end of the day, if the riffs make me want to rip my hair out, smash my coffee table, and kill the next person I see, I’m going to give that album a decent review.

Most Folk Metal, in my opinion, tends to focus too much on the extraneous elements, like the instrumentation, in order to create a grand/“heavy” sound, letting the riffs go to the wayside. It would seem that all you need to make a good Folk Metal, Power Metal, or Symphonic Metal song is a clichéd chord progression and lots of instruments.

Such is the case with this album, but here’s the catch: I don’t think these guys really know what kind of Metal band they are. When I think of Folk Metal, I think of early ULVER (which absolutely kills, by the way) or ELUVEITIE. However, when I started listening to the first track, “Blutlader,” I thought I was listening to RAMMSTEIN. There’s so many modern, synthesized sounds on this album that really doesn’t make sense to call this Folk Metal anymore.

Perhaps the most egregious sin of all on this record comes in the form of the track “Verräterisches Herz.” Trap beats? A dubstep drop? What year is this, 2012? For second, I thought I was listening to a remix of a song from that awful KORN / SKRILLEX album that had been made by a bunch of LARP-nerds.

A couple of the songs do hit hard, I’ll give them that. “Vampir,” in particular, has one of the more extreme riffs on the album, and “Okkult” starts off sounding like it could be a PANTERA song. But these two instances do not save this record for me – especially when you have tracks like “Dunkelschwarz” and “Fang Mich Ein” that literally have the same chord progression in them! I mean come on, trim off some of the fat.

It's clear to me that HARPYIE are talented musicians, and the production is very good. But, in my opinion, Metal is, has been, and always will be about the riffs. And these guys just do not write interesting riffs.

Production: 7
Musicianship: 8
Songwriting: 1
Memorability: 1

2 Star Rating

1. Blutadler
2. Angst Im Wald
3. Liebe Auf Den Ersten Biss
4. Die Geister Die Ich Rief
5. Dunkelschwarz
6. Nachtfalter
7. Verräterisches Herz
8. Fang Mich Ein
9. Wir Sind Die Nacht
10. Vampir
11. Okkult
12. Ich Glaub Dir Nicht
Aello – Vocals
Brian – Hurdy Gurdy
Podargo – Guitars
Jean – Bass
Kayran – Drums
Record Label: Metalville Records


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