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Saltatio Mortis - "Storm of Paradise" (CD)

Saltatio Mortis - "Storm of Paradise" CD cover image

"Storm of Paradise" track listing:

1.Habgier und Tod (3:39)
2.Hochzeitstanz (4:22)
3.Ode an die Feindschaft (3:23)
4.Eulenspiegel (3:42)
5.Sündenfall (3:22)
6.Nachtigall und Rose (4:50)
7.Gott würfelt nicht (4:14)
8.Nach Jahr und Tag (3:42)
9.Orpheus (4:54)
10. Spiel mit dem Feuer (3:48)
11. Fiat Lux (3:35)
12. Der letzte Spielmann (3:39)
13. Wieder Unterwegs (3:26)
14. Wer nicht kämpft (Bonus Track) (3:47)

Reviewed by on September 8, 2011

"For Saltatio Mortis, the recipe is as simple as it is brilliant: Start with a healthy dose of modern rock, add a half a cup of metal, two teaspoons of punk, and top it off with a bagpipe or two to bind all the elements and keep them rooted."

Germany’s Saltatio Mortis is back with a sixth release of ultra-catchy, foot tapping modern folk metal. The term “modern folk metal” may seem a bit oxymoronic since the origins of the folk metal don’t seem all that prehistoric. Saltatio Mortis, along with country mates Subway to Sally and In Extremo, truly has defined what this style is all about. For Saltatio Mortis, the recipe is as simple as it is brilliant: Start with a healthy dose of modern rock, add a half a cup of metal, two teaspoons of punk, and top it off with a bagpipe or two to bind all the elements and keep them rooted.

“Sturm Aufs Paradies” (“Storm of Paradise”) continues the band’s tradition of all German vernacular. The band should be applauded for sticking to it, since the very dynamic of the music would change, despite having more worldwide salable appeal. So what is that dynamic you ask? Well, make the futile attempt to listen to this album and then pretend that you are not air drumming and trying phonetically to sing German (present Deutschland brothers and sisters not included), but you’d be a liar.

The band decided well in choosing “Hochzeitstanz” (“Wedding Dance”) as the first single, with its heavier approach. It is one of the album’s strongest tracks and represents the band’s wide range of influences well. “Orpheus,“ with its quickening bagpipe-laden style rock, spectacularly added female vocal, and an opening riff that would make the next U.D.O. album, is the LP’s strongest. “Fiat Lux” (“Let There Be Light”) is a close second, with a crushing opening riff that coasts into prototypical modern folk, which builds to yet another memorable chorus.

Saltatio Mortis may be in a country teeming with modern folk bands, but the act has certainly found a niche with an even greater seasoning of styles than that of others. While lacking the much heavier edge a la Subway to Sally, Saltatio Mortis successfully laced modern rock with enough titanium alloy and earthy folk to make an album original, catchy, and memorable for metal fans.

(Bonus Review Material): If you ever wondered what it would be like to walk into a lounge bar years from now to hear renditions of Saltatio Mortis songs, karaoke style, by a smoke laden silhouette tickling the ivories, then be sure to pick up the limited edition of this release. The bonus second half contains extended piano-only instrumentals of seven of the album’s tracks.

Highs: The finest in modern folk metal.

Lows: For some fans of metal, this needs more of a heavy edge.

Bottom line: Tired of old folk metal...try well played modern folk metal from the Fatherland!

Rated 4.0 out of 5 skulls
4.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)