I just had the pleasure of listening to the debut record from Æther Realm, “One Chosen By The Gods”. This is a band that’s not from Finland, but sound exactly like they’re from Finland. In reality they come from North Carolina to provide some of the best Folk Metal you may end up hearing this year. They actually got in contact with us at The Circle Pit and shared this album. I’m glad they did and will return the favor by spreading the word with this here review.

If I had to describe this band with one word alone, it would be “epic”. Actually, let’s try that again… “EPIC!” If I had to describe them with more than one word, it would be extreme, intelligently constructed Folk Metal infused with the edge of a Viking’s axe and Death Metal accents. They sound like a compound of fellow Viking Metallers Amon Amarth along with Ensiferum, Wintersun, The Black Dahlia Murder, and maybe even a touch of Alestorm making for a very strong mix. And that strength is brought out even further by producer Jamie King (who has worked with Between The Buried And Me / Scale The Summit). All in all, if you feel like banging your head, moshing, and pillaging, Æther Realm will do the trick.

The album opens with a massive melodic scape in “Journey of Discovery” only to smash your eardrums with “Hourglass”, giving you an idea of how the rest of the album will play out. “Hourglass” is just one stand out among many including “One Chosen By The Gods”, “Odin Will Provide”, “Winter’s Grasp”, “Swampwitch”, and the amazing closer “Oak”. All the 9 tracks on “One Chose By The Gods” provide greatness in various forms, whether that be blistering guitar riffs, ripping blast beasts, flying solos, symphonic work, extreme heaviness, touching melody, interesting lyrics, or all the above. Awesome music \m/

I don’t have many criticisms here but some things should be noted. In some ways, you can tell that this is a band that directly tries to emulate their inspirations. This can be a good thing because they have awesome inspirations. In other ways, it may hold them back. You may get the feeling that you’ve heard some of their musical ideas plenty of times before. But I’m sure they will only expand on their sound with time. Also their vocalist doesn’t switch things up much at all, but he’s good at what he does. And his lyrics are awesome to say the least. They also add in backing choral sections for some extra spice.

If you’re jonesing for some folksy Viking Metal, Æther Realm will sate your appetite for pillaging and plundering. Record labels will probably be scrambling to sign these Scandinavian spirits very soon. “One Chosen By The Gods” is available NOW! Give a couple tracks a good listen above and if you get the urge to raid coastal villages, go ahead and buy the album either on Bandcamp or pick up a physical copy and a shirt right here! Kudos to Æther Realm for releasing a solid debut. Keep doing what you’re doing guys \m/

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