Country: Poland
Title: Echo
Label: Independent
Year: 2020
Style: Acoustic Folk Metal

After Percival and Łysa Góra (in Poland) and Skyforger and Myrkur (In the World) Merkfolk also started playing acoustic! And this is good way for this band! The beginning is a bit similar to legendary Polish folk group Matragona, broken with a nordic and klezmer sounds note and tied with neofolk. Then the team played metal - but on acoustic instruments, which gave quite an interesting effect. On the one hand, it is a Slavic soul, and on the other hand, it is a bluegrass sound in the style of Apallachian Still (songs "Paliły się dęby", means: “The oaks are burning”, "Słoneczko Moje", means idiomately: “My Honey”). The speed of the folk "Dwa Wina" (“Two bottles of wine”) is almost like old Polish folk bands from the beginning of XXI century broken with the traditional Lemko folk. There is also a pinch of nostalgia in the lullaby atmosphere, and there is a lot of Podlasie (Eastern Poland) spirit and folk times from the early 1990s (in songs "Popioły", means: “Ashes”, "Pogoń", means: “Pursuit”, "Fields and meadows"). The accordion does a good job, and the medieval note here neatly wraps around the tavern-klezmer sounds (tracks "Młyn Bałtaragisa", means: The Windmill of Baltaragis, "Woi Kupała", means: Hail Midsummer) and acoustically rock ("Topielica", means: “Kelpie-girl” , "Spring"). A bit of Scandinavian music ("Dziewojka", means “Little girl”), East Slavic chants ("Kompałecka" – local name of Midsummer), neo-folk ("Uroczysko", means: “old, mystic forest”) and general Slavic ("Moja Ziemia", means: “My Land”) songs can be found here. Merkfolk has dealt very well with disconnecting the power, "Echo" is a well-thought-out and really good album, infusing the native folkmetal with more broadly understood folk - and at the same time it is a journey to the times when many recognized folk bands such as Polish legendary folk/etno music band like Saint Nicolaus Orchestra, Dikanda, Czeremszyna or Warsaw Willage Band began their adventure with folk and neo-traditional music.
Reviewed by Vilcin
Rating: 8/10