Swedish folk ensemble Ash & Iron began as the passion project of artist John Berneli in 2014 before he recruited fellow musicians Petter Bengtsson and Kristofer Bergman to join him. Their lineup was made complete with the addition of Sara Ruberg in the spring of 2016, just in time for the release of their latest record, When the Storm Comes.

Featuring ten finely crafted folk tunes, it starts with a short but stirring introduction named “Dirt”. This leads directly into the warm acoustic opening of “Dispomania”. A haunting harmony soon arrives to arrest on the way to a relaxed yet resonant chorus. The outcome is an extremely affable affair ahead of the gentle riffs and soothing singing of “Soon You’ll See”. This placid piece acts as a poignant preface to the upbeat and affecting guitars of the title track. A mellow melody moves in to mesmerise in the second minute amid touching instrumentation, all of which enthrals throughout.

An ominous interlude entitled “White Lakes” bridges the gap to the soft serenade and emotional music of “Snow Covered Hills” next. “All the Good Things You’ve Done” heads in a happier direction when it’s finished by showcasing sunny riffs alongside cordial crooning. “The Days Are Shrinking” stays sanguine afterwards, trotting tranquilly through a friendly refrain atop tender instrumentation. “Waiting for the Rain” adopts a direr demeanour then as it drifts forebodingly forward to meet the moving music of “Wolves”, which manages to bring the compilation to a compassionate conclusion.

Ash & Iron have assembled a light and alluring assortment of folk songs that couldn’t rest any easier on the ears. The peaceful yet passionate persuasion of each offering forges a very accessible sound, the appeal of which should be wide-reaching. Check it out for yourself on iTunes now.

Graduate of NUI Maynooth's Department of English, passionate writer of fiction and creative non-fiction alike. Mad about music, movies and books. If there's anything I enjoy more than listening, watching and reading, it's writing about what I listen to, watch and read! Check me out at davecsimpson.wordpress.com, find me on Twitter @davesimpson1 or drop me a line at dave@puremzine.com