February 12, 2024
ILUVATIA is a secondary project by the man from Ottawa, Canada, who fronts and composes all the music for UNREQVITED. His newest project here has eleven songs, which are all relatively short. “Gaea” opens the album. It has gentle Folk sounds, mostly from a combination of recorder, keyboards, and even strings. It segues into “Song of the Dryads,” which is a bit more uptempo. They layers he builds are quite charming, as is the synergy he gets out of all of the instruments. It’s the mark of an experience songwriter. “Of Sacred Groves & Crystal Caverns” has another gentle and dreamy sound, almost as if the listener awoke from a dream, and was being led into the flowery fields by a beguiling voice.
“A Moonlight Séance” is as mysterious as it sounds. The moon has long been an object of mystery, especially with its effects on our tides, and something about the light seems magical. There is a segue into “Dreamrain Chambers I,” which takes a slightly more somber tone. Another thing that the artist does well on the album is that level of tension, which he raises and lowers at will. Here, it is more noticeable. Part two of the movement has a little more sonority, especially from the heavy drum strikes in the background, and the sound is delicate and ethereal. “The Cradle of Growth” has major chords and a peaceful, positive sound, from those sweet flute notes.
“The Lost Valley Beast” is the longest on the album, at four-and-a-half minutes, so there is plenty of time to really develop the sound, and the artist does it by slowly adding layers to the somber tones. “The Clearing” is another short song that offers much peace and happiness, seguing into the even lovelier tones of “Home Again.” For you fellow homebodies out there, there is no greater feeling than coming home to what is familiar, and to your loved ones. The title track closes the album, further leaving the listener on a positive note as the album ends. Bossy low brass combines with gently but stirring strings which reminds you of the endless will of the human spirit.
Take a close look at the album cover to discover the sounds within. The picture is of a forest scene, with brightly colored flowers, a steam, and even a grassy lookout of the stream. That tree is just begging to be climbed as well. The album reflects this beautiful and peaceful image very well. It’s a bright spot on my mundane Monday morning.
8 / 10
"Amaranthine Hollow" Track-listing:
1. Gaea (Opening Credits)
2. Song of the Dryads
3. Of Sacred Groves & Crystal Caverns
4. A Moonlight Seance
5. Dreamrain Chambers I
6. Dreamrain Chambers II
7. The Cradle of Growth
8. The Lost Valley Beast
9. The Clearing
10. Home Again
11. Amaranthine Hollow (End Credits)