Label: Savage Productions/Season of Mist
Review by Luisa Mercier
“Echoes of the Wolf” is the debut full length of the Celtic folk metal band Fenrir. Hailing from France, they deliver us a record full of music (15 tracks) and diversity. A great deal of the above mentioned diversity is given by the violin, played by Elsa Thouvenot who also is the singer. Her vocals reminded me of Sharon den Adel, crystal clear and soaring, a nice change from the usual soprano voice you encounter in female fronted metal. Very refreshing is also the mixture of styles: you find symphonic metal (the intro “Awakening”) and power metal as for example “Morrigane’s Fury” where the violin plays a major role. You find also black metal in a song which title would suggest something completely different.
“Tristan And Iseult” makes you think of a romantic legend, so you might bet it is a ballad, on the other hand you have to deal with harsh extreme metal riffs, even though they are watered down by melodic vocals and violin. A true ballad is “The Tale of Taliesin”, which starts acoustic and after a few minuts it becomes more energetic, without losing her sweetness. You will also find death/heavy metal influences as in “Mama Troll”, but one thing is for sure: in this album the violins lead the way. Actually there are two violin players in the band, so you can expect them to have a major role in the tracks. You also get a song in French, “Pavane”, quite short, but it is a nice ambient break at half of the record and an atmospheric instrumental that closes “Echoes of The Wolf”. Once again strings are the main instrument combined with a keyboard. Folk lovers will be satisfied by this release, but not only them: the variety in styles makes the album enjoyable also for people listening to other kind of metal.