Hounds of Annwn-Stirling
Released on October 24th "Stirling", which can be witnessed in it's entirety at the bandcamp link below (where it's also a name-your-own-price download friends!), is a 2-track EP from Syracuse, New York-based Hounds of Annwn. If the band name (or for that matter the artwork posted above!) isn't enough of a hint at what this particular outfit brings to the table then I'll spell it out for you. We're talking about folk metal here and yes, just like their promo material rightly points out, Syracuse, New York is "maybe not the first place you would go to find a new and exciting folk metal band." For that matter I'm not sure I would even think it possible that an area like that could end up producing an outfit like this! And yet here it is and, despite maybe wearing their Blind Guardian and Alestorm influences a bit too close for comfort (an issue that should be addressed with the passage of time and further experience one would imagine), the band (Daniel Barbour - vocals and rhythm guitar, Connor Hoffman - lead guitar, programming and backing vocals and Joe Sopchak - keyboards and backing vocals) does a fine job with the material at hand. Of the two tracks here it's the eight minute plus title cut that did it for me as it rightly balances the powerful rock side of this folk metal band with catchy melody to spare! Hounds of Annwn are in a good place right now as folk metal continues to climb in popularity and (one would think at least) should they produce a solid full-length release in the near future their fan base should explode!