Folk metal is always interesting. Either there is too much folk in the metal or not enough. Folk metal is meant to be progressive of course because traditional metal is just straight forward metal with nothing else really added to the mix. That being said Nathyr is a progressive folk metal band from Alexandria, Egypt. As The Legacy Unveils is their debut album just released in mid July.
Having not heard anything of this band before this album was presented to me, I of course did not know what to expect but I can tell you I was pleasantly surprised as I’m positive you will be too. The songs are on the longer side which gives Nathyr the room to mix everything they are trying to do together and there is quite a bit in this album that needs to sink in. With everything that is going on including adding the folk to the music, Nathyr tend to be metal first, folk later.
Instead of just sections of the songs being folk, and other sections being metal, the middle eastern stylings are woven in nicely throughout. There are certain parts within the songs that are more culturally influenced than others, but the metal aspects never completely die out from the song. Another very interesting aspect used in some songs is that some of the lyrics are in Arabic. At times throughout the album, the lyrics feel chanted, and the Arabic lyrics really bring that out and make the songs more powerful.
The songs touch a lot on war and battle but never make it overly bloody and gory. Instead the lyrics depict stories of war and battle making you feel as if you you yourself have been transported right in the middle of it. Coupled with the lyrics and the middle eastern touches you feel like you are in the middle of the desert with a war ax and helmet marching to battle.
The feeling of war doesn’t just come from the lyrics however, it also comes from the musicianship as well. The riffs are heavy and powerful yet are also very cultural at times as well. The drums are thunderous also giving off hints of middle eastern culture while giving you the feeling that you are marching to the drum beats. The bass is certainly there to provide the songs more strength, but it is not a prominent fixture that draws attention from anything else. The songs break down at certain points throughout every song to allow the middle eastern sounds shine through. As I mentioned above it is woven in expertly throughout the album. Nathyr balance both the folk and metal very well never giving one more attention than the other, and allowing both shine in their respective ways. The folk side of things adds a beautiful touch of melody and a great deal of atmosphere to the music, while the metal side trudges on in a grinding full on metallic assault.
To add to everything that is already a cacophony of sounds, there are still the vocals to discuss. They sound as if you’ve awoken an ancient evil from its sarcophagus. The vocals roar in a gravely ancient sound. The ancient sound may come from the fact that they sound like they were tracked in a tomb. Nonetheless, the vocals are on par with what Nathyr is trying to convey and they tie everything together nicely.
As The Legacy Unveils gives you a gigantic amount of atmosphere and melody. Not everything on this album is entirely crushing, but while adding the other cultural influences to the music there is not need to be devastating. Other than focusing on utter devastation more, Nathyr provides stories with each song, and makes the listening experience a trip to Egypt. Overall, As The Legacy Unveils is a great debut. With the middle eastern influences there is a lot at play here and a lot to build on for future records. For now there is this debut on Bandcamp for your listening pleasures.