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Gallia - Everflame

by Gary Hernandez at 26 September 2019, 11:43 AM

GALLIA is a Symphonic Metal band based in Belgium. For the historically and geographically challenged, or Americans as we call ourselves, Gallia is Latin for Gaul which was a region in Western Europe way back in the Iron Age. A bunch of Celtics lived there and then things happened and now it’s part of modern day Europe. GALLIA, the band, recently released their debut EP, “Everflame.” While it comprises six tracks, it also comes with the orchestral version. If you measure value by dollars per minute of entertainment, you’re essentially getting a full album for the price of an EP. Win. But as we all know, value is more than just volume (no pun intended). It’s also quality and rainbows and bit of unicorns. The good news is that GALLIA delivers both – plenty of track time and high quality music. No unicorn bits though, I just made that up. Unicorns are not real.

A couple of cool things about GALLIA . . . #1: Two guitar attack. This means when the solo hits, the bottom doesn’t drop out. It also means the band double downs of the riffs. Cool thing #2: Alto, not soprano, vocalist which lends a darker, heavier vibe to the compositions. Dark and heavier are attributes that go well with metal, and ale.

The EP opens with “Rain Straight,” a riff heavy song with an epic feeling chorus. There is a bit of faerie whispering at the beginning, which pretty much says, “Yep, this is a Symph Metal song,” but any sense of lilting airiness is well gone by the 2:52 mark when the band launches into much earthier territory. I guess there’s a reason this track leads the EP. Hopefully we’ll see some video support for it.

Track two, “Devil’s Cry,” kicks off with some gorgeous vocals from Elyn, then swerves off into a jaunting melody that sounds a lot like Pirate Metal. Now, I don’t have anything against Pirate Metal aside from not liking it very much, so I am hoping this is a bit of experimentation. “Rise of the Fallen,” track three, is a zombie tune, and a fairly good one. I like the solo; I like the marching riffage; I don’t like the bit of narrative near the end, but all together the track is fairly solid.

Track four surprised me. The song title is “Papercut.” I thought, “Oh great, here comes the overwrought dramatic love song,” but I was wrong. Without a lyric sheet, I can’t tell you what the lyrics are really about. Maybe it is a love song, but if it is, it’s a badass love song and I’m okay with that. This might be my favorite track on the album.

“Fight of Fools” is the traditional song that all Symphonic Metal bands are required by law to record with an inspiring chorus about overcoming obstacles thrown against a backdrop of classically arranged Symph instrumentation. I’m not saying it’s bad — there is a reason traditions are traditions — but it is a bit expected. What isn’t expected is the heaviness of the final track, “Frozen Sun.” With this song, GALLIA circles back to the darker, grittier stuff. Definitely competes for the best song of the album slot.

The soundtrack songs? Good stuff, if you are into that. I do like the fact that the band is essentially saying they are proud of their Symphonic layering and present it right out there for fans to delve into. All together, “Everflame” is an impressive debut album. I look forward to hearing more from them soon.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 6
Memorability: 6
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

1. Rain Starlight
2. Devil's Cry
3. Rise of the Fallen
4. Papercuts
5. Fight of Fools
6. Frozen Sun
7. Rain Starlight (Orchestral version)
8. Devil's Cry (Orchestral version)
9. Rise of the Fallen (Orchestral version)
10. Papercuts (Orchestral version)
11. Fight of Fools (Orchestral version)
12. Frozen Sun (Orchestral version)
Laurens Vandebroek - Bass
Dieter Vantilt - Drums
Yannick Maris - Guitars (lead)
Davy Coningx - Guitars (rhythm)
Elyn Vandenwyngaert - Vocals
Record Label: Independent (Bandcamp)


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Edited 27 March 2023

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