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Haggard - Tales Of Itheria (CD)

Haggard
Tales Of Itheria
by Harry Papadopoulos at 24 September 2008, 12:17 PM

Four years have passed since HAGGARD's previous album. So the symphonic, let's say, metallers are back with their new lucubration, Tales Of Itheria, released some days before this review is being written.

Unfortunately, their official site is under maintenance these days and the page they have at MySpace doesn't have any info about the band's history. If I remember correctly, the band started its career back in 1991. During their first steps they played Death Metal, but after their first demo started adding symphonic melodies and classical instrumentations in their music. During those years many musicians played in the band, reaching the number of 21 just before their album Awaking The Centuries was released!

In thir fourth full-length studio CD, HAGGARD once again is giving us a nice concept album, this time based on a fantasy story. The story is taking us to a place called Itheria and the eternal fight between good and evil. Not a story that can win a prize for its creativeness, but always a catchy one. Even though that most listeners won't notice it, there are some musical changes too. In this album Asis Nasseri, the brain behind the band, has more medial orchestrations rather than the Renaissance and Baroque that can be found in their previous releases. The aggressive side of HAGGARD has been dwindled. Even though the growls are still here, besides some really heavy moments, the album as a hole is more melodic. Everyone did add something in the final result. The voice of Mike Terrana gives that epic essence, the orchestration is the right one for a concept album like this one and Nasseri's voice, when he is singing and not growling, is showing us a more sensitive and emotional side of his ways of expression.

As a conclusion, I believe that this album is better than their previous ones, but still has some things that I don't like. Firstly, there's not present the element of surprise. The album is somehow predicable. You know when the metal parts are coming in, or when it is time for a more melodic one. Furthermore, it sounds like THERION's latest albums. Even though I like almost all the albums that the previously mentioned band has released, I think that the path they choose, in my humble opinion, is not the right one and gets them away from their Metal roots.

If your are a fan of HAGGARD, Tales Of Itheria is an album that you will like, so the ones that liked the last THERION CDs will act so. But if you are one of those ones that are not familiar with the band, it would be nice to take a look in their previous albums too, in order to have a spherical opinion about them.

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
The Origin
Chapter I: Tales Of Ithiria
From Deep Within
Chapter II: Upon Fallen Autumn Leaves
In Des Konigs Hallen (Allegretto Siciliano)
Chapter III: La Terra Santa
Vor Dem Sturme
Chapter IV: The Sleeping Child
Hijo De La Luna
On These Endless Fields
Chapter V: The Hidden Sign
Lineup:
Bartl - Oboe
Fiffi Fuhrmann - Crumhorn
Kathrin Hertz - Cello
Steffi Hertz - Viola
Danny Klupp - Acoustic Guitar
Kerstin Krainer - Violin
Luz Marsen - Drums, Kettledrums
Robert Muller - Clarinet
Andi Nad - Bass
Asis Nasseri - Vocals, Growls, Guitar
Kathrin Pechlof - Harp
Susanne - Soprano
Florian Schnellinger - Bass, Vocals
Hans Wolf - Piano, Cembalo, Keyboards
Christoph V. Zastrow - Flute
Record Label: Drakkar Entertainment
     


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