FOLGE DEM WIND — Inhale the Sacred Poison (review)

FOLGE DEM WIND — Inhale the Sacred Poison album cover Album · 2011 · Pagan Black Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
2.5/5 ·
Inhale The Sacred Poison is the second full-length album by French Black metal outfit Folge Dem Wind, released in 2011. The album contains eight tracks of music and lasts for around fifty minutes, so it’s not an extra short extreme metal offering. Normally that would be good, unfortunately this album actually makes me wish it were shorter.

First impressions of the music on offer is of the very raw sort of black metal, but at times this has an almost avant-grade edge to it mainly due its pure weirdness. I think that Inhale The Sacred Poison has much potential to please the fan of raw black metal, a style that I myself have been known to enjoy on occasion, there is far too much emphasis on raw noise for me to find this really enjoyable. I am not one to attack a metal group for ‘making a racket’, because that phase is to me the weapon of someone who doesn’t know any better, but unfortunately as far as Inhale The Sacred Poison is concerned I find myself leaning towards using it. I can here mixed good ideas in the album right from the off, but those good ideas and sometimes shoved to the back to allow raw aggression to take the lead and while raw aggression is actually very good for the atmosphere of most black metal, for me it’s just not working for Folge Dem Wind here.

When the band is playing in a more normal black metal style without trying to go take the music in more experimental directions, they actually produce a pretty tight sound, but when they change it so often sounds out of place and inconsistent, though occasionally an unexpected idea comes up and actually works really well.

But my biggest problem with the album is the vocals. For me black metal growls are usually better than those found in death metal but this is not the case here, there is too much sounds like the vocalist is trying to make noise over create actually lyrics, sometimes sounding like the only intent is to make raw primal noises, something that is heard right from the word go in the lengthy title track.

Once the album has got going, about the fourth song (Through the Eye of the Immortal) in for me, I started to understand the atmosphere of it more, which is the reason why I don’t want to totally bash this album. This is actually a pretty solid song, but by this time I was put off of the album by the first two tracks, Inhale the Sacred Poison and Of Blood and Ether. I do however think that someone who is more into this style of music than I am could really appreciate this album, although I myself will remain of the opinion that it gets off to a very shaky start which ruins the listening experience for me. There is actually a lot more good material on offer here than I initially thought, but it’s patchy. The latter half of the album is definitely much more solid than the first though.

Part of me wishes I could like this album more, I can hear good ideas here and even though the vocals don’t generally sit right with me (they have their moments) I think that with some better material I could have come to enjoy them. What good ideas there are could easily have been collected together and made into a shorter but more solid album that what Inhale The Sacred Poison turned out as. Even the tracks that I think are the albums best like Through the Eye of the Immortal have their bad moments which I find rather sad. Overall this album sounds too much of a wasted chance for me. As I said there are good ideas here, and enough of them at that to have produced something really special, which in turn could have been made even more special if the vocalist stuck to his strengths. As it is I think this is an above average effort, even when thinking in terms of how fans of the style may receive it, but no more than that. There is unfortunately nothing on offer that really strikes me as amazing and I found myself wanting it to be over just to complete this review. If you like raw and experimental black metal than you’ll probably like it, because in its own way this is a good album, but for anyone else - steer clear.

(Originally written for Heavy Metal Haven)
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