The Further Adventures… does carry a slight Folk and Black Metal touch to some of the songs, and that’s exactly how it starts off. “Roland the Farther” has some rather blunt distortions and harmonized chants in the backgrounds. The keyboards manage to give it an icy tone as well, but at seventy-five seconds in, that cold environment gives way to upbeat bass-heavy riffs and Monty Python style comedic lyrics. Things do revert back to that more aggressive vibe it had early on, and it mixes in a lot better to the final fourth of the song.
With that fun romp over, it was time for “Warrior Monks of Whitehawk.” This one left the comedy behind for a more serious Folk Metal offering. The riffs were infectious, especially with the additional flute in the background of the chorus, making it as if the group were joined by a medieval bard. Around three minutes and fifty seconds in, there is a spoken word segment that carries a sense of parody similar to any Lemmiwinks themed episode of South Park. It’s a bit out of place, but does fit the lyrical concept of the track.
Of course that heavier approach is left behind entirely for the drinking song “The Bitch of Chiselhurst Caves.” It’s hard to even begin to analyze this track considering it’s just pure fun. The placement is what takes away from it though, following a really heavy tracks that shows the more serious Metal fangs of Jaldaboath quite well. The first time I sat through this song, I scoffed at it specifically for that reason, though upon further listens, it definitely is growing on me.
“Raise the Crummhorns” tries to bring in some lighter Folk instruments, mostly through the keyboard, and the band’s heavier approach. The flat horns sounds didn’t sounds right to me at first, and it never really grabbed my attention the further in I got. The bass guitar does get pushed a little more, and it’s a welcome focal point thanks to the other guitars being a little absent. About three minutes in, there is some narration, as well as keyboards that sound a bit along the lines of what would be a Saxophone performance with vocalist Grand Master Jaldaboath whistling behind it. It is an interesting approach, but really didn’t offer much to the overall performance.
Then there’s the unique take on Metallica‘s “Enter Sandman” with “The Wailing Witch of Moulsecoomb.” This track is a much slower performance, but all the key traits are there, just a bit dulled down with a chorus that takes on more heraldic keyboards that manage to differentiate the song from the source material just a bit. The overall performance is definitely interesting, aiming to be memorable on a parody level, and that’s about it.
The first time I heard these songs, they did not sit well with me at all. In fact they bored the hell out of me, and many just reminded me of Gwar. But, the more time I gave them, the more I got into the songs and found the differing styles meshing together a lot smoother than I first thought. “Raise the Crummhorns” and “The Wailing Witch of Moulsecoomb” still don’t really impress me, and I get the feeling probably never will. At this point, I can’t really say this is as good as Rise of the Heraldic Beasts, but maybe after a couple more spins and sitting down with the entire album it’ll grow on me more than I think it will. For now, I will say this: “Roland the Farter” amd “The Bitch of Chiselhurst Caves” are the most fun a templar could possibly have today.