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Morgarten - Cry Of The Lost: Review

When it comes to folk metal, a lot of things can go wrong. Often the mark can be missed by quite some distance and the whole affair becomes somewhat awkward. On other occasions, Folk Metal bands can knock it out of the park and that is certainly the case on the new record, Cry Of The Lost from Morgarten which is due for release June 18th via Inner Wound Recordings.

What makes Cry Of The Lost impressive? For one it's scale, twelve tracks that avoid the pitfalls of the genre, all immaculately produced with each element precisely placed and worked into the overall composition. The band have made the decision to lean more into the metal side of things and accompany their heavy sound with the folkish stylings, a mixture of around 60/40 in the metal's favour and this balance works really well. There isn't any over use of folk instruments and where they are is well placed and thought out, nothing here is jarring or forced which I for one find happens quite often in genres such as this one. A lot of this may be due to Jens Bogren who has worked with the likes of Opeth, Dimmu Borgir and Amon Amarth, Jens mixed this record and clearly used his wealth of experience to get the right sound. The record was mastered by Tony Lindgren who has also worked with Opeth, as well as Eluveitie and Sepultura. For the drums, Morgarten visited Fascination Street Studio’s to let David Castillo, who has handled Carcass, Opeth, and Leprous in the past, take the helm for the recordings.

The band come from the French-speaking part of Switzerland are take their name from the famous Battle of Morgarten in 1315, where the Swiss defeated the Austrian army, they also model their appearance on a blend of Viking and wild man tribes to complete the concept of their sound. With this new album, Morgarten are preparing to march upon the European battlefields once again with the return of live music on the horizon.

This new record, I'm informed, was put together much like their first Risen to Fight explains Pierric, the lead vocalist., "With our previous album, we wanted to tell a story throughout the album, and the same we strived to do in Cry of the Lost”.

Pierric continues:,, "With this new album we were really eager to build a highly cohesive concept album, but we also wanted to go beyond what was done with the previous record. So we wrote a medieval novel inspired by the legend of a Swiss hero called Arnold von Winkelried and chose important events of his story for each song. Then both the lyrics and the music were composed, so that it really brings the listener into the story and allows him to walk alongside this hero, feel what he feels along his journey.''

Cry Of The Lost certainly conjures up the feelings expressed in the concept, there are sorrowful moments as well as poundingly heavy sections and tracks that make you feel like you are on the eve of some great battle. There isn't much more you could ask for from a record of this type. A solid, well rounded and overall incredibly fun listen that is well worth your time, if you're new to the concept of folk or "pagan" metal outside of the big names such as Amon Amarth then Morgarten are definitely worth a look and Cry Of The Lost is a great starting point.

Rating 8/10