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Irilliun – Fatanyu

by Gary Hernandez at 14 January 2020, 6:04 AM

IRILLIUN started in 2015 as a project by Rayner Valera. Originating in Venezuela, they are now based in Mexico. They have also expanded to two members. The band leans heavily on the works of J.R.R. Tolkien and Lord Dunsany and, indeed, the name “Irillion” comes from the short story "Idle Days on the Yann" by Dunsany. The band has released two EPs. Their latest, “Fatanyu,” was digitally issued on October 30, 2019 and physical copies will be available in early 2020. The EP comprises three tracks and times out at 13:12, but I’m calling it 13:13 just because. They are cited as an Atmospheric Black Metal band, which may be true of their first EP, but not so with this album. This album is straight up Black / Death Metal.

I usually don’t talk about cover art, but hey, there are only three tracks and Metal Temple doesn’t reduce my word count requirement due to album length. It’s also an interesting story. The cover depicts a painting by Venezuelan artist Cristóbal Rojas completed in 1890. It is his last work — he died the same year. It’s entitled "El Purgatorio." Like that’s the last thing you want to paint before you die. Anyway, it’s powerful stuff and a cool nod to Valera’s fellow countryman.

The title track, “Fatanyu,” is an Elvish word from Tolkien meaning “fires of the deep” or “hell,” depending on your Elvish translator. The track starts with an acoustic intro and then flares up at the 1:02 mark with heavy riffs and way baritone guttural vocals. Lyrically, the song is a tour through the hellscape of Fatanyu; sonically, it is moderate Black Metal with Doom inflections. Track two, “Belzoond,” while musically more interesting than the previous track, is still average at best. Lyrically we have another guided tour of a storied realm, this time from Dunsany. This isn’t a bad thing. In fact, if you are a fan of the author, then it is probably a great thing.

The final track, “Meneltarma,” is the longest track on the album and by far the best. The riffs speed up, moved along at a crisp tempo with pelting although muted blast beats. For those keeping track, Meneltarma is from Tolkien and refers to a holy mountain. The story behind it is fairly interesting involving sacrifices and all sorts of Eldritch shenanigans, but you’ll need to research it yourself.

So it comes down to this. The EP “Fatanyu” is a bit like fan fiction. If you are into the world created by Tolkien and Dunsany, you’ll probably love this album . . . so long as you’re also into Black Metal. For everyone else, IRILLIUN is fair to middling. If you have the discretionary income, or if you fiercely support Venezuelan Black Metal, you might want to check them out.

Songwriting: 5
Musicianship: 4
Memorability: 4
Production: 5

2 Star Rating

1. Fatanyu
2. Belzoond
3. Meneltarma
Rayner Valera – Guitars, Bass
Coatl – Drums, Vocals
Record Label: Independent


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Edited 27 May 2020

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