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Music Reviews: Trollwar and Naberus

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Hi there, it’s the Raucous Rocker back again with some more metal reviews! I will be doing a special Christmas review in a bit, but before I begin working on that, here’s another review of bands that are following me on Twitter.  I promised to give each of them a review as a thanks for following me. Whether said review will be good or bad is a different matter, so let’s just dive right into two more bands and see how they hold up. These are Trollwar and Naberus.

Trollwar

After the great experience I had last time reviewing bands that followed me, my hopes (and expectations) were quite high…perhaps a little too high. As such, I did not enjoy our first band, Trollwar, quite as much as I generally would if I had just stumbled upon it randomly while browsing YouTube or listening to LastFM. It just didn’t have that excitement and energy that radiated from Krokmiten or Texas Hippie Coalition (mostly the latter)-not to say that the band isn’t energetic enough, as it is quite easy to see they are really getting into their performance.  I think the easiest way to say this in a nutshell was just “I couldn’t get into it.”  I love folk metal, but I just wasn’t feeling it today. Maybe it’s because I just wore myself out doing exercises, maybe it’s because I got this other band stuck in my head… but whatever, I’m going to give this band a fair review.

My biggest gripe with this band and their (so far) only release is the production quality.  If the quality isn’t good, it makes it hard to hear everything and ends up driving me insane. I guess you could say I’m a quality Nazi.  However, the quality can be forgiven because they are just starting out and thus likely don’t have a ton of recording equipment to work with. For me, though, I just can’t get over it; I know quality is not a good excuse to write out a band, but I just can’t help it. I don’t know, for anyone who obsesses about quality like me, you probably won’t like it, but the rest of you, have at it.

Now on to the band itself and the music they make. Musically they remind me of polka folk bands like Finntroll and Korpiklaani, as they use a lot of bouncy folk instruments in their songs like the accordion, what sounds like a flute, and of course plenty of keyboards. The guitarists sound decent and do their job well, but the quality combined with the fact that almost all of the musicians seem to be playing their instruments constantly makes it hard to tell the difficulty of the riffs they’re playing. Yeah, that’s another thing I sort of picked up from listening to a couple of their songs–none of them seem to take a break. This can work out fine and even create excellent songs in bands like Unexpect, but here it doesn’t really work because of the quality. I can’t hear what’s going on half the time and after a while it just seems to blend together and become noise–catchy folk noise at that, but noise.

Anyway, on with the rest of the band members: drums are decent but don’t really show off, same for bass, and the vocals are pretty standard for this style–think Finntroll with a few deeper grunts thrown in. As to the band’s main focus, their keyboard and accordion, it is slightly different. These songs are led by folk music and the metal is there only to support it, as with many bands in this genre. The main problem here is that it’s kind of hard to distinguish the keyboards from the accordion, and the quality certainly doesn’t help. The main folk sound is sort of a flute-like melody, which I guess is probably the keyboard while the accordion…no, that can’t be right, because the accordion never seems to make an appearance in the music, unless the flute is the accordion…I have no idea.  I like folk metal but I haven’t actually played the instruments. The band seems to enjoy letting people know that they have a “true” accordion, not one of those electric ones, so perhaps that changes the sound. I still have another band to review anyway, so bottom line, they are a decent folk metal band lacking sound quality, but if you like folk/black/death metal, don’t let that deter you–check them out!

Naberus

Now for this band, I listened to it for quite a while and just couldn’t think of that much to say about them. They’re talented musicians (especially easy to see if you watch a video of them playing live like I did), but I just can’t think of anything to say. They’re entertaining but not really original; their music sounds like The Haunted covered one of Dark Tranquility’s songs and removed the keyboards. It is like groovy melodic death metal met metalcore and decided to collaborate.  In short, it’s nothing we haven’t heard before, but it’s well executed. The quality here is about as good as you can get with a band; you are able to hear the musicians cleanly and fluently, and don’t have any problems making out the instrumentation due to quality like with Trollwar.

One complaint I have apart from the fact that it’s basically just generic melodic groove metalcore is the vocals.  I’m used to the shouted vocals in groove metal bands like Pantera and Soilwork, but this guy sounds more like a singer out of one of those horrible Christian metalcore bands.  You know, it’s really sad that Christianity got stuck with some of the worst types of music there are.  I’ve only heard about four Christian metal bands I actually like. But that’s beside the point.  Naberus is an entertaining and talented band albeit not that original, and anyone who is a fan of groove metal or melodic death metal should check them out. I’m the Raucous Rocker, see ya!

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