Its always fun to have releases from my own country to grace my ears. This one is Lies After Lies from the Brussels based folk metal band Ithilien. It was released in February but sometimes it takes a while to reach us.
For those LOTR fans out there, the name Ithilien is no stranger. Meaning "Country of the Moon" in the elf language Sindarin. Its the home country of Elves. But enough with fantasy lessons. The band itself has no further connection to Tolkien and does not use the rich LOTR world for its music.
It does however employ all the classic folk instruments you would expect from a good band. Such as the violin, the hurdy gurdy, the bagpipes and the thin whistles. But they also have lesser known ones such as a swedish nyckelharpa and a Greek bouzouki(you have Irish versions as well).
Musical wise Ithilien started out as a mix between black and death metal in 2005. Eventually evolving into folk metal combining traditional folk Celtic, Nordic and Viking music into metal. Now with their latest album they coin their musical style "Folkcore". It only signals the rich musical style this collective can produce.
Now on to the album. This example of craftsmanship kicks off very strong with a beautiful set of classical folk metal songs. Relying heavily on a combination of bagpipes and flutes together. the powerful vocals of Pierre match perfectly with the highly energetic and fast pace of the music. It is impossible to stand still, let alone bang your head enthusiastically. This combination feels very potent and rightfully so. We Belgians produce fantastic music! Walk Away is a marvelous acoustic track and i truly love the full display of traditional Celtic instruments. This makes the song stand out among the others by a margin. It feels introvert yet Pierre's growling make it so powerful my arm hair raises up. A true eargasm, especially if you listen trough some good overear headphones.
In short, i will not spoil any further. It is best to just go get Lies after Lies. I can only recommend this superb album. It is complete, masterful and a blessing to every metalhead's ear!
2. Lies After Lies
3. Shaping the Soul
4. Walk Away
5. If Only
9. The Drive
10. The Bear Dance