"some music was meant to stay underground..."

Adavant - "Tale Untold" (CD)

Adavant - "Tale Untold" CD cover image

"Tale Untold" track listing:

1. What Makes a Legend (2:28)
2. The Siege (5:56)
3. Of Fate of Revelry (5:54)
4. Voyage of the Vagrant Heart (5:54)
5. Embers Forgotten (5:07)
6. Treachery Upon the Flags of Peace (7:18)
7. Ride of the Vengeful (5:07)
8. Origins of Alliance (6:36)
9. Upon the Proving Grounds (8:00)
10. A Penny for the Folk, and a Jug for the Jig (15:38)

Reviewed by on February 21, 2012

"...Adavant is a welcome addition to the underground class of folk metal acts, providing a solid alternative to the bigger names and expanding the genre’s horizons."

Folk metal is a realm that hasn’t been oversaturated yet like the other sub-genres, which leaves a listener with very specific options if they want a folk injected fix of heavy music. For happy drinking chants, pull out the Korpiklaani. For more Celtic focused songs, head over towards Eluveitie’s catalog. For an over-the-top experience focused on the folk elements there’s Equilibrium, and so on. With relatively few options to choose from, Adavant is a welcome addition to the underground class of folk metal acts, providing a solid alternative to the bigger names and expanding the genre’s horizons.

“Tale Untold” starts off about as one would expect from an epic metal band telling a fantasy story, with a voice over setting the stage and the sound of medieval warfare in the background. The buildup explodes into fast paced guitars, the first bout of growls, and folksy instruments. Although not completely in the same realm as the humppa inspired craziness of Finntroll, the upbeat folk style is noticeably different from other instrument focused genres like symphonic black metal. Some outlandish (in a good way) moments do arise however, like the out-of-nowhere galloping western theme in “Of Fate and Revelry.”

The songs are fairly long, between six and eight minutes on average, so there’s plenty of room to go through a variety of changes in pacing and direction. A wide range of vocals are present, including growls and screams, but also operatic clean singing and liberal usage of storytelling voice overs, as well as some rallying gang shouts. An equally large range of instrumentation is present, covering the musical spectrum from pianos to tambourines and on to wind instruments. More than a few fantasy video games could do well to take a page from Adavant’s playbook.

On the downside, this is an indie, underground release that doesn’t have perfect production, so headphones are recommended to get the full effect of all the sounds. The final track is also an unfortunate misstep, at least for this reviewer, as it drags on for ten minutes of campfire sounds with random clips of band members talking in the background. This sort of outro is clearly much more fun for the band than the audience, and it unfortunately gets in the way of hearing the ending “secret” catchy victory jig. Frankly all the filler should have been jettisoned and the secret song should have just been its own track.

But looking past some minor production issues and the unnecessarily long outro, “Tale Untold” is a tale well worth hearing. Fans of epic metal that tells a story should get into Adavant as quickly as possible to help get this band on a national stage where it could shine next to the rest of the folk metal world.

Highs: Upbeat folk metal meets brutal black/death metal, all with a backdrop of an epic fantasy story.

Lows: The production isn't perfect and the outtro track feels unnecessary.

Bottom line: Underground epic folk metal that is well worth hearing for fans of the bigger bands in the genre.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 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)