With a name like Black Messiah, you would think that they were some Necro Black Metal band if you’ve never heard their music before. At the very least, you would think that they were Satanic. They’re neither of these. Black Messiah is a Folk Metal band and this is their fifth album. The Final Journey is a hit-or-miss affair that seems to follow a pattern. When they stick to playing Metal and leave the Folk stuff as a garnish, their songs kick ass. When they start playing Folk stuff and have the Metal part as a garnish, things tend to get hokey. The Final Journey is split into two halves. The first of which is a hodge-podge of songs that range from well executed Metal to “Renaissance Faire with electric guitars” music. The second half of the album is a concept piece called “The Naglfar Saga,” which is about what happens to dishonorable warriors after their death. This part of the LP is more consistent and the songs are also more focused on being Metal than Folk (though their fiddle player still gets a fair amount of time). That being said, the second half of the album is definitely better than the first half. I would have preferred to have everything more like the “The Naglfar Saga” than how The Final Journey ultimately came out. Some of the songs on the first half of this album are good, but the “Renaissance Faire” hokeyness drags this one down. The final 23 minutes of The Final Journey is where the best material is. If you can get through the Ren Faire shit, it’s fairly rewarding.
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