Monday, July 25, 2011


Who doesn't love a good Tolkien band? Tengwar, named after the Elvish alphabet, is an excellent folk metal band from Argentina that combines lyrics about Lord of the Rings with intricate celtic fiddle playing, obscure medieval instruments, and metal. When I listened to the song "A Long Expected Fading" and heard the grunting vocals belt out "My precious..." I knew I was hooked. Their lyrics are mostly in English, but some songs are sung in what I believe is one of the Elvish languages. The music features a male singer, guitars, bass, drum, violin, Galician bagpipes, recorders, mandolin, bodhran, Iberian lute, hurdy-gurdy, flute, and crumhorn. Crumhorn! (If you've never heard of a crumhorn before, watch this video). Tengwar is an excellent band, with sophisticated song writing and great musicianship, but what stood out to me the most was the violin playing - they have possibly the best celtic fiddling I've ever heard featured in folk metal!
As I said, the violin playing in this band is spectacular. The violinist goes by the name of Feredur, and plays an acoustic violin both in studio and live. What I like about his playing is his attention to details and subtleties. He incorporates celtic fiddle techniques such as cuts and slides into his playing, that give it a distinctive folk music sound and prove that he is a knowledgable celtic fiddle player. The violin is mixed very much up front, making it easy to hear these subtleties. The violin also has a very raw and antiquated sound, appropriate, I think, for framing tales of Middle Earth. I am very impressed by Feredur's playing, he definitely stands out in the realm of folk metal violinists.
Tengwar's first 2 albums are available for free download on their official site, so go give them a listen!

Official Site:

Recommended Songs: "In the Land of the Golden Trees," "Snow and Defeat," "Namarie," "A Long Expected Fading," "The Pilgrim's Gone"

"Snow and Defeat":