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Æxylium - Tales from this Land Award winner

Tales from this Land
by Marcos "Big Daddy" Garcia at 23 August 2018, 5:18 AM

Although Pagan/Epic themes were used on the lyrics of many bands since the 70’s, only with the coming of SKYCLAD in the beginning of the 90’s, a new form of Metal was created: Pagan/Folk Metal. The use of these elements on Metal opened ways for new musical possibilities, and today we have an ample range of sonorities on the genre, from melodic to extreme Metal genres. And the Italian octet ÆXYLIUM (you can read it “aexylium”) comes with their first album, “Tales from this Land”. But what are they about?

They are focused in creating something in a melodic Pagan/Epic/Folk way, but with some extreme moments (as the harsh voices heard in some parts), but balancing things in a way they aren’t leaving Metal or becoming too heavy to be out of Pagan atmosphere. Obviously, they have the same Italian Metal DNA that many carry, so you can find some similarities of their work with other bands from the country. But don’t get the wrong idea, because they are pretty good and have personality on the hooking songs, filled with charming Pagan elements. And let me tell you all a thing: the experience of hearing “Tales from this Land” is a wonderful voyage through time and music at the same time.

The sound quality of “Tales from this Land” is really good. They worked hard to find out something that could fit in their music, that could blend Metal and Folk elements in a good way, and they did it. Of course, as it’s their first album, the instrumental tunes aren’t as good as they could on the guitars and drums, but it’s a matter of time for them to reach a better level. For now, they are sounding clear and heavy as they must.

Evading the use of long songs (none of them last five minutes), they are able to show what they are on the 11 songs of the album. We can say that “Black Flag” (a song with charming melodies, excellent chorus, and great vocals and keyboards), “Into the Jaws of Fenrir” (what lovely Pagan instruments parts), “Æxylium” (what a great work from guitars, and the mix of them with the keyboards creates amazing harmonies), “My Favourite Nightmare” (some modern Groove is presented, along with a solid and good work from bass guitar and drums), “Banshee” (great melancholic scent on the melodies, and some nasty guttural voices can be heard here, without damaging the Folk essence of the song), “Revive the Village” (great bagpipes and charming guitars), and “Radagast” (an energetic song, with excellent keyboards and vocals once more) are their best moments, but don’t worry: all of them are very good, and I just named some to not be choked by my editor-in-chief.

They still have to mature, because it’s just their first album. But I believe that ÆXYLIUM has the potential to be a great name on this genre in the future. For now, “Tales from this Land” is really an excellent work.

Originality: 8
Songwriting: 10
Memorability: 9
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Prelude to a Journey
2. Black Flag
3. Into the Jaws of Fenrir
4. Aexylium
5. My Favourite Nightmare
6. Banshee
7. Tales from Nowhere
8. Revive the Village
9. The Blind Crow
10. Judas’ Revenge
11. Radagast
Steven Merani - Vocals
Fabio Buzzago - Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals
Roberto Cuoghi - Guitar, Bagpipe, Backing Vocals
Stefano Colombo - Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Gabriele Guarino - Flute
Federico Bonoldi - Violin
Gabriele Cacocciola - Bass
Matteo Morisi - Drums
Record Label: Underground Symphony


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