Featuring rich, traditional instruments and influences from cultural backgrounds, folk metal offers a delightful musical sanctuary.
Fu Xi (伏羲), a Chinese outfit, infuses folk metal and doom metal to enrich their style. Considering how Fu Xi selected their moniker, the band’s approach is made more perceptive; Fu Xi is one of the Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors, which were mythological rulers in ancient China. Fu Xi’s full-length, In the Quiet Road (在寂静的路上), proceeds with an ancient sensibility. Taking watery-eyed glimpses at aged traditions, the album exudes a reflective, weepy vibe but dares to erupt with tumultuous emotion.
“Fu Xi” (“伏羲”) is an instrumental dabbling in obscure sounds; the piece gives a voice to a folk angle, settling the mood for the album. With the pipa permeating “On the Dreariness Pathway” (“在寂静的路上”), a relaxed nature is revealed. Low thunder introduces “The Dance” (“舞”), a pleasant melody lurks and rainfall lulls the track to a close.
As “Left Behind” (“遗”) begins, strings wait to be fulfilled by electric guitar strumming; the verse softens before intensifying with crackly, harsh vocals. “Chek Ling Month” (“赤灵月”) drowsily moves along against a heavy atmosphere. On “South Boundless” (“南无疆”), pounding percussion sneaks in between some understated melodies. “Outro” (“结束曲”) ends the album with an emphatic folk attitude.
In the Quiet Road tells its folk story through sorrowful gestures and longing. For those who frequent Western folk metal, the album is a rarity since it integrates traditional Chinese instruments, namely the erhu and the pipa. Moreover, this album can possibly please those less appreciative of metal, as select songs are without heaviness. Expect the songs to relish in average tempos and clean singing; these elements provide adequate timing for Fu Xi to develop expression in the songs. Two noteworthy tracks, “On the Dreariness Pathway” and “The Dance,” represent superb songwriting by Fu Xi. By showcasing Fu Xi’s consistency and ancestral remembrance, In the Quiet Road lends a secure musical haven to ears.