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Felo De Se - Essence of Illusions Award winner

Felo De Sea
Essence of Illusions
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 05 December 2020, 2:16 AM

FELO DE SE is a Belgian band of Melodic Death Metal, clearly influenced by Finnish bands as WOLFHEART or INSOMNIUM. The music combines acoustic melodies and harshness of Death Metal. It was initially founded as a one-man-band during summer 2016. In early 2017, Joachim Kinet, band’s founder, released the first EP, “Fidelis In Se”, consisting of five tracks. A short time later was revealed an acoustic version of “Fall of Ikaros”, EP’s second track, on YouTube. In the beginning of 2018 new members joined the crew: Lionel Delmay (lead guitar), Benoit Hogge (drums), Innokenty Gritskevitch (bass guitar). They present their newest album here, titled “Essence of Illusions,” which contains 13 tracks.

“Voices in the Mist” leads off the album. Hushed clean guitars combine with low vocal utterances, along with some melodies. Before long, the heavy sound drops, and it’s heavy and ominous. “The Endless Path” comes at you full speed, with sweeping guitar moments and guttural vocals. It takes a pause every now and again, to temper the aggressive elements a bit. “Enigmatic Stones” begins with some soft melodies before the thumping of Innolenty’s bass, and some lead guitar notes. The sound is fairly steady from there, but the riff does venture out a bit, bringing some diversity to the table. It takes a brief pause then returns with some adventurous lead guitar work.

“Frozen Sun” is heavy and slow in the opening, then come some momentous lead notes, gathering quickly into a faster moving song, with galloping guitars, bass and drums. Catch some nice nuances here in the track that you might not hear with the first listen. “Strength of One” opens with some lead guitar notes over a bed of heavy rhythmic accents. From there, guitar melodies lead the charge. Though there is no clean singing here, the band is still able to remain diverse because of their intelligent songwriting, particularly within the framework of the guitars. “Let the Oceans Burn” has a more linear sound out of the gates. It might be the simplest song on the album, but there is something about it that is still very pleasing…it might be that brief ambient sequence before the ending.

“Light of Norns” opens softly, with charming guitars and some rugged bass notes. It then kicks into full swing, with a variety of strong guitar work. The vocals remain the stalwart factor here, but the more I listen to them, the more I appreciate them. Again, that ambient passage is done beautifully. “Morning Star” begins with muted, atmospheric tones and some lead guitar notes. Something swirls in the background, and then the lead guitar takes over the melody. Here, they remind me of the might and power of INSOMNIUM. “Shattered Skies” opens with more of those melodious leads. They are definitely key to their sound, as they keep the album moving forward with variety. A guttural low scream breaks the sequence up, and then a heavy and aggressive guitar riff takes over.

“Inner Conquest” is darker and more weighted in nature. It comes at you with all cylinders firing. “Shades of the Sea” opens with what sounds like charming piano notes and bass guitar. Again the leads provide much of the variety here. The sound is thick and chunky but the leads cut through them like a knife through warm butter. “Equivocal” is a shorter piece, opening with some symphonic elements and a really pretty piano passage. The clean guitars provide a nice contrast on what was otherwise a fairly heavy affair. The acoustic “Fall of Ikaros” closes the album. It’s another pretty song reminding you that the band is much more than a one-trick pony. The melodies they develop here are sad, but earnest. The clean vocals are also surprisingly nice. “The fall of man (shines like a comet), the solar fire (erupts in circles), your fall ignites the sky, the pyres light up the night, sky shattering fire devours the world.”

Wow, what a fantastic album! As I mentioned before, the album has everything that you would want to hear from a Melodic Death Metal band…rugged riffs, heavy sequences that will knock you out of your seat, guitar leads that are deep with nuance, poignant lyrics and emotional passages that are sad but powerful at the same time, and stellar production (done by the band!) so that the vocals resonate over and over in your head. This is a carefully crafted album that you are not wanting to pass up.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Voices in the Mist
2. The Endless Past
3. Enigmatic Stones
4. Frozen Sun
5. Strength of One
6. Let the Oceans Burn
7. Light of Norns
8. Mourning Star
9. Shattered Sky
10. Inner Conquest
11. Shades of the Sea
12. Equivocal
13. Fall of Ikaros
Joachim Kinet – Vocals, Guitars
Benoit Hogge – Drums
Innokenty Gritskevitch – Bass
Lionel Delmay – Guitars
Record Label: Independent


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Edited 06 June 2023

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