• 9.5/10
    DALRIADA - Szelek - 9.5/10


Hammer Records
Release date: April 14, 2008

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Folklore and Storytelling are trades and arts composed from chants, poems and tales of ancient times. Since Folk music was introduced to Rock it made a huge impact and when Folk music was introduced to Metal something more energetic and exciting was born and it progressed much more in this genre – powerful music with ancient stories. Metal took Folk music to various different forms, from Power and Heavy Metal to the extreme areas of Black and Death Metal.

The Hungarian band, from Sopron, Dalriada, which was the name of a Gaelic kingdom in the west coast of Scotland, march through ancient tales and stories since their formation in 2006. They play Folk Metal, delivered by its own code, but with influences from Folk Power Metal bands like Falconer, Folk Doom like Amorphis and several similarities of the late era of Paradise Lost.

The band’s material is mostly composed of Folk stories and chants in Hungarian. The group made their debut release in 2007 with the album Kikelet and this year they present their finest achievement, Szelek, which means – Winds.

Szelek’s production is one of the brilliant ones created and mastered, the closest thing to perfection. The album is fluent and interesting even if one doesn’t understand a word in Hungarian. Every instrument that is presented here is in place and performs accordingly.

Riding through the paths of the music, the album doesn’t stop to amaze with rich melodies, heavy guitar riffs, explosive and versatile drumming. In addition there are instruments that fit the code of Folk Metal like Violin, Flute and of course Keyboards.

The main difference between Dalriada’s music and other Folk Metal acts is in regards to the music itself. Other Folk Metal acts are more infused with Black Metal or other elements of extreme music that eventually created the Viking Metal sub-genre. In this case it’s a bit different.

There are extreme elements in this album but they are barely noticed. The main element is the male vocalist’s and ex-bass player, Varga Gyorgy, deathly growls that only serve, on the songs, as back up for the female vocalist, Binder Laura. The only thing that is missing here is more breaking solos that could provide a more cutting edge to the music.

In their music, Dalriada mix between the Power Metal movement of Folk music, in the way of Falconer, and some extreme ways like Doom Metal al’a Paradise Lost and the Italian Metallers, Novembre. The Doom Metal elements can be recognized in various main guitar riffs, drumming and growls. The best example for Paradise Lost heavy riffs is the track “Hajnalpir” which means “Flush Of Dawn” and “A Szikla Legendaja” – “The Legend Of The Cliff”. The growls can be noticed in several songs like “A Nap Es Szel Haza” which means “House Of The Sun And Wind” and “Egi Madar” – “Bird Of The Sky”.

The music creators are high skilled professionals that produced a highly rated release and should deserve many praises. The vocalists, Binder Laura and Ficzek Andras are highly qualified singers and do their part with excellence. Andras has a great voice, what a voice, which consists of clean, cold yet melodic chants and in some areas a raspy, strong voice. Laura’s voice is cold as if she was leading a Doom Metal squad, also she has many parts that she sings exactly as a Folk singer should. Their duets together are amazing. Andras, which is also a guitarist, is joined by a second axe, Nemeth Matyas. These two demonstrate a great skill on making intriguing melodic and heavy verses. Bass player and drummer, Molnar Istvan and Taduesz Rieckmann do a magnificent job keeping up the pace and collaborating for this great piece. The latter brings some fast paced double bass and some hell-ish pace changes. Finally, the key man, Andras Kurz, contributes to the atmosphere on most of the tracks.

It’s tough choosing a classic piece from this release that should be endorsed and remembered for a long time. All the songs are a driving force and because they are so captivating, the album just sweeps by. The best of the best from this one are tracks like: “Megegyszer” (“Once Again”) which starts with a beautiful piano verse until it is charged up with heavy and fast guitar riffs and melodies. “Hajnalpir” (“Flush Of Dawn” ) the heaviest one on the album , “Egi Madar” (“Bird In The Sky”) for its heavy riffs and great growl / clean duet. “Hej viragom” (“Hey! My Flower”) which sounds like an oriental vein song, has a catchy chorus and great riffs.

Dalriada can be proud with their current release, it’s one of the best heard and they should endorse it and continue on with the same. What they are doing is magic, not just the words but the main thing that non Hungarian folks can understand, the music. The Metal world can be pleased by having them. Cheers! And maybe an English release can hit the stores one day.


  • Lior Stein

    Lior was a reviewer, DJ and host for our Thrash Metal segment called Terror Zone, based out of Haifa, Israel. He attributes his love of Metal to his father, who got him into bands like Deep Purple, Rainbow, Boston, and Queen. When he was in junior high he got his first Iron Maiden CD, The Number Of The Beast. That's how he started his own collection of albums. Also, he's the guitarist, vocalist and founder of the Thrash Metal band Switchblade. Most of his musical influences come from Metal Church, Vicious Rumors, Overkill, and Annihilator.

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