2013 was an epic year for metal. I can't think of a year in recent memory that saw so many awesome metal albums come out in a single year. Even narrowing this list down to 10 was very difficult. So put on that Amon Amarth shirt, shotgun a beer, throw up the metal horns and let's do this.
One of my favorite metal genres is Folk Metal. I've always loved bagpipes and other folk instruments, however, I really only knew of punk banks that implemented folk instruments, such as Flogging Molly or the Dropkick Murphys. Which I still enjoy them, but they don't have the epic sound that you can get from Folk Metal.
This week's album of the week is Ensiferum's From Afar. Their new album Unsung Heros is out in Europe this week, and next month for the US. From Afar embodies folk metal, in my opinion. On the title track "From Afar" you've got galloping and melodic guitars, energetic harsh vocals, a whole orchestra and even a "chorus" for the, well chorus-- all of which making for the truly epic folk metal sound (specifically Finnish Viking Folk Metal). An awesome album overall, and there is something for any type of metal head. My favorite tracks on the album:
I'm going to try to share an Album of the week, hopefully, each week. This week I've got an Estonian Folk metal band Metsatöll. Specifically their 2011 album "Ulg". Fantastic harmony vocals, driving guitars and of course a variety of folk instruments. Lyrics are entirely in Estonian, and sound fantastic. Plus the artwork is pretty sweet. Duck men in a fish boat? Or is that a mermaid boat?