Folk metal outfit Kanseil are a collection of sonic connoisseur formed around the end of 2010 consisting of a myriad of talented musicians including Andrea Facchin (Lead Vocals), Federico Grillo (Guitars), Davide Mazzucco (Guitars, Bouzouki), Dimitri De Poli (Bass), Luca Rover (Drums), Luca Zanchettin (Bagpipes, Kantele), Stefano (Herian) Da Re (Whistles, Rauschpfeife). Hailing from Fregona (Veneto) Italy, the band have so far released demo ‘Tzimbar Bint’ (2013) as well as full length album ‘Doin Earde’ (2015). I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing their third release, a full length album titled ‘Fulìsche’ via Rockshots Music to be released on May 25th.
Inviting us into the album we have Ah, Canseja! Which loosely translates to “Ah, Cansiglio”, Cansiglo being an ancient name for a mountainous area of Italy often referred to in songs and is in fact where Kanseil found inspiration for their name. The short intro includes a soft spoken man speaking in Italian over a acoustic, minimalistic instrumental layout consisting of pipes & the gentle plucking of strings, it is a gentle & welcoming track that sets the scene well for the rest of the album.
La Battaglia del Solstizio ushers in a heavier feel with the addition of well suited growls, utilizing pipes not unlike that of Eluveitie’s style, as well as commanding drumwork, & melodeathesque electric guitars. The track features a bridge of layered clean vocals leading in to a folkier feel as promised by the band’s earlier works. Building from the track before it we then have Ander de la Mate, which turns the brutality of the album up one notch higher, inserting an impressive guitar solo accompanied by masterful instrumental blends, alternating between almost blackened growls & powerfully mellifluous clean vocals. Following suit of the acoustic vs heavy feel the band has laid before us is Pojat, this song is an enchanting rhythm-filled rollercoaster of fanciful themes and diverse sounds, the only possible flaw I could point out would be a few moments of not-so-swell vocal work when attempting a harsh yet clean hybrid feel, which is only really used for a short period of the piece.
The next track we’re blessed with from the album is one entitled Orcolat, starting out with a soft slow acoustic strumming of guitar joined only by faint symbol manipulation, this then builds to heavier instrumental work soon accompanied by clean then both clean & growling vocals simultaneous, the music is initially swaying in feel, with a steady yet unmistakably emotive vibe. The song soon hastens and hardens, but doesn’t sacrifice it’s hypnotising quality, then falling to a mesmerizing quiet period soon building itself back up slowly, a steady rise throughout the rest of the track that keeps you thoroughly invested right until the very end.
Serravalle then takes the album into a whole new direction, slowing things down with a gentle traditional folk acoustic piece that takes one on an emotional journey throughout the entire track, with masterfully heartfelt vocal work perhaps not entirely mastered in regards to technical proficiency but overwhelming touching nonetheless which more than makes up for it in my mind & I can’t even understand the language in which it’s sung!! The instrumental work used has much the same effect, this style of music isn’t my favourite if I’m to be quite honest but I feel I have been swayed towards being fond of it after this brilliant addition to ‘Fulìsche’.Next we have Vallorch, bringing back the heavier folk sound as well as a female guest vocalist alongside Facchin, the sound seemingly inspired by the sound of Arkona in both instrumental work as well as the vocal style of the guest. The percussion & underlying beat of the track makes it in my opinion the one most likely out of the album to get you up & headbanging. The lively true-to-folk-metal nature of the piece invokes a spirited response in the listener, perhaps one of the better songs of the collection.
We then come to Il Lungo Viaggio, another impressively upbeat classic folk track, with undeniable mythos saga atmosphere about it, with a hearty amount of vocal work in contrast to the rest of the album I only wish I could understand the narrative, nonetheless the song is one I’ll have doing the rounds in my collection for months to come!! Last but not least we arrive to Densilòc, a perfect end to an album such as this has been. With a fairly reminiscing melodic tone the track employs the use of clean vox and an inspiringly euphonious fusing of both heavy electric and traditional acoustic instrumentals up until approximately halfway through when they augment the piece with one final brutal growling insertion, then give the compilation a soft yet powerful send off with soaring final moments, finally coming to an end on light plucking of guitars & a soft-spoken last few words.
All in all I was impressed by this album, it certainly had some shortcomings in regards to some proficiency faults but the overall feel of the album outshone said faults to a level I could very well say erases them almost completely. The evident parallels Kanseil has with some of the greats in folk metal are hard to look past in the best of ways, they’ve pulled it off with an aura that comes across as more ‘inspired by’ than replacing other artists as their originality & creative arrangement of ‘Fulìsche’ clearly demonstrates. Bringing the sound of their homeland together with a genre that typically focuses on the musical traditions of Northern Europe was a commendable feat & I wholeheartedly look forward to seeing where they go and how they improve with their future releases.
YOU CAN PRE-ORDER KANSEIL’S ‘FULISCHE’ HERE