Monday, September 01, 2014

Review: Trobar - Charivari

Trobar are a little known band from a little known area called Rimouski, Quebec. The six piece folk metal group have been active since 2009 and released under half an hour of content on a prior EP. Though independently released, their new album, Charivari, is being distributed through the growing Montreal based label/studio/PR Silver Wings Studios. Do Trobar have what it takes to stand out among the folk metal bands of their region?


Genre: Folk Metal
Label: Independent
Release Date: April 15th, 2014
  1. L'Aube de Tous les Diables
  2. Troubadours
  3. Charivari
  4. Le Sacrifice
  5. Le Bosquet
  6. Ivresse, Notre Déesse
  7. Tyran
  8. Dans un Autre Monde
  9. Neuf Orteils et Dix Sous
  10. Noctambule
  11. À L'Ombre du Chêne
  12. Pactés À Mort
Total Playtime: 1 hour, 10 minutes, 08 seconds




Rating: 9.0/10




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Trobar are a little known band from a little known area called Rimouski, Quebec. The six piece folk metal group have been active since 2009 and released under half an hour of content on a prior EP. Though independently released, their new album, Charivari, is being distributed through the growing Montreal based label/studio/PR Silver Wings Studios. Do Trobar have what it takes to stand out among the folk metal bands of their region?

When one really thinks about it, the sheer diversity of the Montreal (and surrounding area) metal scene is simply amazing. While death metal is the most prominent genre, with black metal being the runner-up, the area has a huge folk metal fanbase. With bands like Valfreya and Blackguard leading the way, other groups like Trollheims, Fjörd and Trobard are left following behind; making the competition within the eclectic genre grow more fierce. Dare it to say that Trobar have made an excellent beginning for themselves with Charivari, the album is overloaded with delicate compositions and antiquated orchestrations that are arranged in a mystical, nostalgically medieval manner. The mood of the content is unlike any that besiege it at this point, where as other bands of the genre focus more on death or melodic metal with some folk fundamentals, Trobar fixate on delivering impacting folk composures with some metal elements intertwined.

The atmosphere of the content is more relaxed versus that of say Valfreya or Blackguard; who are balls-to-the-wall with their guitar riffs and drumming techniques. Trobard have a very distinctive, laid back assortment of tactics at their disposal. Much of the material relies on the smooth bass guitar lines, which steal the attention of the listener in tracks such as "Tyran" and "Pactés À Mort". Being one of the more memorable songs, the magical melody "Tyran" stands out well with its creative dueling bass and piano section and also the female vocals that accompany the male lead. "Le Bosquet" has a wonderfully inspired array of medieval instrumentation, it brings back fond memories of long forgotten fantasy styled role playing games such as The Realm. What really provokes these feelings to life is the flute, by far. It's the most prominent and endearing element Trobar use in their compositions, going as far to use it for leads instead of the guitar in most scenarios.


While the vocals are mainly male growling, there is room left for occasional clean duets between male and female, as well as a plentiful abundance of chants. The content is thriving with energy, and is sure to inspire active pits at live shows as well as the odd lighter sway; such as with "Le Sacrifice", one of the slower melodies with a dark atmosphere as it preys on the deep bass and tom-toms or the beautiful keyboard and violin orchestrations in "Dans un Autre Monde".

Charivari is a well designed album overall, the compositions are pleasing to hear time and time again. Trobar have managed to ensure that the length of the album is used to their advantage, never does a track feel stale, repetitive or unnecessary; unlike many other lengthy counterparts. Some tracks are just as relaxing and contented as others are vibrant and moving, and the band have interwoven their various instruments into unique melodies that stay true to folk inspired metal. Definitely a band to keep an eye on, Trobar will undoubtedly become one of the greater names that has risen from the mystical lands of Quebec.

Physical Copy Provided by: Silver Wings Studios

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