Recently I have been getting into folk metal bands that use their own countries’ native instruments in their music. And I’m not talking about all those Scandinavian folk bands that have already been done to death. Nope, I’m talking about two much poorer countries with folk music decent enough for bands to want to use it in their metal: China and Colombia! Neither band is amazingly talented but both are interesting, playing something I haven’t heard before and playing well enough so that their lack of experience doesn’t distract from the music. Let’s take a look at these strange folk metal bands: Voodoo Kungfu (yeah, that’s the band's real name) and Guahaihoque (rolls right off the tongue, doesn't it?).
This band is just really weird, one of the weirdest I’ve come across. They are located in China and write everything in Chinese, so it was not easy to find out information about them. Anyway, as I said in the brief intro, they incorporate their cultural instruments into the metal. They have a person who plays the "Mongolian cello," which immediately makes me think of Apocalyptica. But unlike said band, this guy doesn’t rock out; he just plays some nice backing melodies for the rest of the group to base their metal on. Fortunately, the band doesn’t just ignore him and give him nothing to do except prove background, and instead allow him quite a bit of play time, especially on the track "This Shore," which is a very pretty track summing up what the band is about in its runtime.
Now on to more technical (and negative) aspects. The quality, surprisingly, is very good and clear, as are all of the instruments. None of them really overpower the others, and the music sounds excellent. The guitars sound very heavy and although the guitarist doesn’t do any flashy solos, you can tell he is quite proficient in his instrument.
Now, on to the vocals. Vocal performance is always where underground bands seem to falter, and here it is no exception. The vocalist can scream, growl and (occasionally) sing normally, although he does it so little you won’t even notice. His deeper growls are alright too, but his screams are incredibly annoying. He’s good at doing that style, but like Dani Filth he chose one of the most annoying styles to learn. Even worse, he’s one of those vocalists who has to be making noise constantly, so you’ll have to be listening to him for almost the entire album. This band could have been amazing if the vocals had been handled correctly, but instead, it’s just good. Yeah, just good.