I'd been disappointed by the previous album I'd heard - Deep Into Time - which my friend lent to me a couple of years ago. At that time, Forefather sounded like a pile of doomy mush, and not in a good way.
With Steadfast, Forefather has shaped up into a band worthy of taking back England's title as a producer of decent metal. They have a very commercial sound that I could sort of describe as blackened atmospheric sophisticated power metal- like Sonata Arctica meets Enslaved, with the subject matter of the latter, and some well-used clean singing. I generally like less mainstream sounding stuff, but the concept of a band singing in Old and Middle English, as well as about Anglo-Saxon Heathenry, absolutely delights me.
Forefather's effectiveness lies in their catchiness. It's not cheesy like Manowar, but it has that epic quality to it, which is very appropriate for the subject matter. They have the "wizard and the beast" vocals (alternating clean tenor and growling) which I find so much more appealing than "beauty and the beast". Some highlights of the album include 'Cween of the Mark' (yes, cween is the correct medieval spelling), Hallowed Halls - yet another tune about Wælheall / Valhalla, Three Great Ships, and Miri It Is, the last of which is based on a 14th century (I believe?) ballad. I can't help but sing along to this album, and that's saying a lot for somebody who regularly listens to Darkthrone before 8 AM.
If you are looking for good music with a medieval or Pagan theme, catchy bang-your-head music with balls, ditch the Amon Amarth albums and pick up your copy of Steadfast.
4.5 / 5
Download, then buy it:
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Thursday, November 27, 2008
We have again come to this silly sacrifice-holiday where we give thanks to the Earth, the various gods and goddesses, the Native American cultures, and suchlike. It's a good day to give thanks to Frey, the god of agriculture. Of course, food is the central feature, no matter what your religion is.
I'm kicking it old school this year and showing you how to make main-course type items vegetarian.
Here it is:
2 tbsp thyme
1 tbsp sage
1 tbsp tarragon
2 bay leaves
fresh garlic to taste
fresh garlic to taste
1 tsp garam masala
1 large onion
handful basil, fresh or dried
1 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp soy sauce
Salt to taste
Cotija, parmesan or nutritional yeast to taste
Saute thyme, garlic, tarragon, and bay leaves in butter. Add diced onion and cook until the onion is almost translucent. Add bread and saute until everything is browned and oily and good. Transfer everything to a large pot and add the tomato paste, water, and soy sauce which has been mixed together. Cook for around 15-20 minutes, then add basil, salt, and the cheesy item.
This has been covered in an entry dated last January. Use the same tofu cutlet preparation as for 'Tofu Aurore'.
Cut up some garlic, spring onions, and get thyme leaves. Saute everything in butter or olive oil. Stir flour into a little soy sauce until you get a nice paste, then mix in water or milk, a little at a time, until you have enough for the amount of gravy that you want to make. The ratio is usually 2 tbsp. flour to 1/2 cup gravy. Pour the liquid into your pan and stir until it's thickened. You can add a little nutritional yeast, but I do not believe this to be necessary.
There are many ways to make them. I generally use russet, and boil them whole. This prevents them from incorporating too much water as they boil. I also boil them in water with salt or Adobo added to it. I mash them with butter or margarine while adding a mix of scallions, salt and garlic, and milk is added at the point when the potatoes become stirrable with the amount of butter added.