From Ashes To The Frozen Land


The land of the moon, through the far eastern area of the mythical land of […]
November 14, 2013
Ithilien - From Ashes To The Frozen Land album cover

The land of the moon, through the far eastern area of the mythical land of Gondor, yes that one from the Lord Of The Rings. Or is it a darkened beast, bursting with evil, ardent to destroy all life on Earth. However, one might escape this far Fantasy land into different kinds of fictions, or hidden truth hinters, forged and told deep in the past, where Vikings / Norsemen and Celtic mythologies were a significant part of the day's news. Thus, one would fine the hunters, warriors and defenders of humanity, formed together to protect the commonwealth from the imminent danger that is upon it. These guys from Belgium are also and they named themselves ITHILIEN. Drenching into the grimes of the frost, and newly signed to the Danish Mighty Music, the vengeful pack let loose their debut "From Ashes To The Frozen Land", producing an extreme vision of Folk Metal. The bunch plagued with aggressive melodic Black / Death Metal throughputs that exampled a mixture of ENSIFERUM, WINTERSUN, TURISAS, KORPIKLAANI, KALMAH and somewhere near MANEGARM among the many, especially since Folk Metal, whether extreme or not has become quite a trend nowadays.

Gradually, after storming through the iced up parklands with the hunters for several raids, I had this album figured out quite fast. Not that obviousness has anything wrong in it. For one thing the ITHILIEN musicians demonstrated fairly adequate musical abilities that contributed much to their songwriting. Their material resembles a blizzard of belligerence, unleashing their own kind of mayhem inflamed with vicious riffery at several tempos and alternate picking procedures, yet with a few sojourns to entice one's senses with acoustic guitaring, flute and other Folk dispensed flavors that were pretty neat. Even with this decent cessation, like the enigmatic potential of the instrumental "Sealed Destiny" and the closing ambience of "Northern Light", no doubt that ITHILIEN foreshadowed their potency on the offensive. "Rebirth" raced forward like a horde of wolves storming the fields of frost into a glory ride. Generally, the track felt rather common to genre, yet I believe that the Black Metal elements along with several hints of contemporary catchy melodic Power Metal supported the band's tuneful exertions. "Stare Into The Deep", "Reckless Child" and "A World Undone" ravaged with haunting melodic tendencies including some fine licks, somewhere in the proximity or NORTHER / early CHILDREN OF BODOM. Hard to describe these as epic songs, nothing that overly exceptional, especially when it comes to the dosages of extremity commanding the majority of the entire tracklist, but still skillfully prepared and served. However, at times there was an exceedingly repetitive riffery, especially the ones that the band probably thought that will bond with the listeners. ITHILIEN also tried an off shoot tune, allowing me to recollect the boozed KORPIKLAANI tracks, with "Drinkin' Song", can't say that I expected it, because I didn't, but it was rather a release from the entire theme.

Ushering the whiteout rage, there was the vocal line, treading between blackened mid high end growls to guttural snarls. Actually I appreciated the vocals, however, due to being deep in the mix, molested and asphyxiated by the guitars and bass, it was a near sham experience. I wondered how a mixing engineer could have allowed these lines to be finalized.

Though being miscellaneous when it comes to their extreme Folk arrangements, ITHILIEN obviously will have more to prove in due time as for now it is hard to ascertain their wishful excellence through this album. I believe that for a first album, their music will capture the attention of Metalheads that constantly surface on the Folk Metal trend, even if there is much resemblance to leading artists of the genre.

6 / 10

Had Potential

"From Ashes To The Frozen Land" Track-listing:

1. Battle Cry
2. Unleashed
3. Rebirth
4. Sealed Destiny (Instrumental)
5. Through Wind and Snow
6. Reckless Child
7. Drinkin' Song
8. Mother Of The Night
9. Stare Into The Deep
10. Everlasting Dawn
11. A World Undone
12. Northern Light (Instrumental)

Ithilien Lineup:

Pierre - Lead Guitar / Vocals
Thibault - Rhythm Guitar
Ben - Bass
Olivier - Keyboards
Jerry - Drums

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