This Italian six-piece are ready to unveil their 8th studio album continuing their exploration of folk metal for the masses as their European audiences grow to impressive sizes. All manner of folk-themed instrumentation dances arm-in-arm with the metal-fused majesty the band are known for which helps The Pagan Manifesto conquer any complacent pitfalls, and keeps the journey throughout the 12 songs interesting and entertaining.
After the tease of an introduction, the album finds its stride instantly with the grandiose King of the Elves. In a time when Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings are incredibly successful examples of pop culture, it wouldn’t prove to be a big stretch of the imagination to see The Pagan Manifesto provide a rich soundtrack. If you’re unfamiliar with these titans of folk metal, then they share on their social networking profile some influences in the form of Iron Maiden, Skyclad and Blind Guardian. These would be appropriate comparisons if you added their own unique ability to blend them with their own brand of folk metal.
The only criticism to be aimed at what is a very rich and progressive selection of layered folk metal tracks is that it’s too much like when you eat too much candy. This is a minor quibble when you can find so much to enjoy and sink your proverbial teeth into. The quirky Moonbeam Stone Circle, the swaying Towards the Shores and the frantic Twilight of Magic showcase their varying degrees of sound within the parameters of what they play.
It would be honest to say that their back catalog is patchy in places, but with a re-awakened creative heart reprised by some Elvin magic, you could do a lot worse than soak up the fantastical tapestries they sculpt on offer here. Maybe it is time to succumb to our inner yearning for a world of dragons and myths by joining the Elvenlegions with a pint of their finest in one hand and a sword in the other whilst participating in a jig!