Formed in the spring of 2009, Minos is a new band to the Midwest scene bringing a mix of Celtic Folk music and traditional heavy metal. Their lyrics range from tales of Pictavia to Native American legends, and includes mythologies and lore from around the globe. Minos have performed with bands such as Ensiferum, Fintroll, Moonsorrow, Blackguard, and Swallow the Sun. They have released one full length album titled MMXI, which I will be reviewing in this article.
You can contact Minos and listen to some of their music on their facebook or myspace.
You can also contact them at [email protected]
Northern Europe is famous for its many folk metal bands. What about the US? What about Minnesota? Of course we need a good folk metal band ourselves. Especially in Minnesota, the land of the vikings. That’s exactly what Minos are. They are our folk metal band. I first started listening to them not too long ago and I liked what I heard straight from the get go. I knew I had to do an album review, so I got to work on giving their album MMXI a listen. I must say I definitely enjoyed this album. It’s strong, powerful, and has a very distinct folk metal sound. The whole album is brilliant from start to finish. Each song has a story to tell and is packed full of emotion with beautiful melodies, soulful solos, and lyrics of tales.
The tracklist is:
Tankards of Eight
The first track starts off the album strong with a beautiful intro then slams into a great and powerful melody that carries throughout the song as a tale of war and bloodshed is told.
The second song takes no haste in keeping the album going. It’s a soulful song with lots of emotion and a solo as beautiful as the woman portrayed in the lyrics of the song.
Lost River is another song that starts off with a beautiful intro that gets more and more powerful as the song builds up. Another cool song about war and fighting against an invading force moving through a thick morning fog to take the stronghold that soldiers risk their lives to defend.
Like many of the other songs on this album, Forest Song paints pictures and a story in your mind. Who needs to read books when you can listen to songs like this and have the story painted in your mind by beautiful melodies and soulful lyrics. Lord of the Rings had a cool soundtrack but this song in my opinion would have been a kickass addition, as the lyrics somewhat remind me of things from the series.
Across Eternity is one of my favorites on this album. It tells of a tale of a warrior going off to battle leaving behind his love and family and fighting for her and his kin. This song has a lot of emotion and to those who know what it’s like to leave your comfort zone and fight for someone you truly care about, this song is for you. It’s catchy too, did I mention that?
Of course with war and bloodshed there are times of joy and of which warriors gather around and tell tales of their adventures and conquests over a tankard of ale. That’s what Tankard of Eight seems to be about. It tells of tales as warriors share drinks and prepare for the battles to come. A truly epic song, it’s shows of how warriors of old would have “pep talks” and get morale up to boost their courage in the fights to come through tales of valor and glory while filling their stomachs with ale.
Sapphire takes you in like an ancient spell as your soul dances with the melodies and lyrics that tell of “a story lost in time.” I really like the lyrics on this simply because it’s another one of those songs that paints a story in your head but not so specific as the some of the other lyrics. It instead leaves a lot of room for your imagination to run free, to paint your own story with the song that’s sung to you.
Karta is another war song about killing off invading forces from a distant land sent to conquer. It reminds me of the old stories, where soldiers under the holy banner of God would invade other countries to try to take them for their religion and their god. This song is about fighting off those forces and driving them out of your land. This is another great song with beautiful melodies and great harmony in the members of the band.
Pirates? Yeah, they’re on this album too. Pirate Soul is a tale for the high seas with treachery, battles, plundering, and a melody akin to an old sea shanty. Pirates of the Carribean could use a song like this.
Finally the album ends strong with Warsong. Another song about war and fighting that paints a picture in your head and tells of an old conflict in Pictavia. A great song with strong folken melodies and powerful lyrics, this song is fitting to be the end cap of this album. They say you want to leave an audience off with a strong ending, and that’s what this song does.
All in all, a great album. I highly recommend it to any fans of folk metal or just melodic metal in general.
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