I couple weeks ago I never would have guessed that France, of all fucking places, would not only have produced one of the best folk/black metal albums I’ve ever heard, but that they also contain a group of musicians sprawling out between numerous folk-infused black metal acts, often times in an incestuous nature.

You remember when I reviewed the amazing Heol Telwen? Then their follow up band Bran Barr? Well Aes Dana falls somewhere in-between the two, featuring members of both bands, mostly members from Brann Barr.

Aes Dana was running concurrently with Heol Telwen and the same year that Heol put out An Deiz Ruz, Aes Dana released Formors. Now if you’re aware of the insanely infectious and melodic folk driven black metal of Heol than you’ll be well prepared for Aes Dana. Utilizing similar instruments (there’s that awesome flute) and approach, Aes Dana, to my ears, sounds like the more rough around the edges band of these three. Still, highly folky, highly melodic, but the production is a little rawer, the metal instruments a little more erratic and fuzzy. The whole thing is just a little more erratic. Which is fucking awesome if you ask me. It reminds me of Setherial, or Vinterland, if they were folk bands. Weird, yeah, but what the hell, it fucking rules.

Aes Dana might not have that same punch as Heol Telwen but it’s a damn fine folk/black metal album and there are vast riffs and melodies to get stuck in your brain and get the neck banging. You can’t go wrong with this one.