Genre: Epic Black Metal Epic Death Metal Folk Death Metal
Label: Mighty Music
Ithilien is a Belgian epic folk black death metal band from Walloon Brabant. They were formed in 2005 by Pierre Cherelle (vocals, guitars) and it took him 6 years and hard work to gather a more stable line-up. In 2011 the band released its debut EP “Tribute to the Fallen” and after some final line-up changes they started their live performances, becoming very active in 2013. Finally, on December 9th 2013, Ithilien released their first full-length album “From Ashes to the Frozen Land” via the Danish label Mighty Music.
Their debut was worth the wait, since Ithilien offer us a very professional and quality album, including 12 songs and almost an hour of music. They have a very solid, powerful and clear sound, surprisingly good for a debut album, something that reveals a lot of work and explains why they delayed it so much! The band is labeled as folk metal, but in my opinion it’s more precise to call them epic melodic black death metal with Celtic folk elements in their sound. Their music is based mostly on their guitars that dominate their sound. Epic riffs and melodic lead guitars, often influenced by Celtic tunes and rhythms, have the leading role in the melodic lines of their compositions. They also use synths and traditional instruments, like whistles and bagpipes, whose main role is to enrich their orchestrations, making their sound more atmospheric and rarely to take the leading role. Their vocals are typical epic black death metal screams and Pierre has a very good voice for this style; I believe though that their songs would be more interesting with a bigger variety in the vocals, at least for my taste. “From Ashes to the Frozen Land” is a very solid album, with few differences between each song, that move from mid to fast tempo. Their epic fantasy oriented lyrics are in English, speaking about a group of warriors that seek revenge from an evil mythical creature known as Ithilien.
If you are into epic black death metal, then Ithilien is a band you might find very interesting. They have worked a lot to create a very good sound and a very solid base for their music; I believe though that they now need a little more work in the melodic lines of their songs, because even if their sound is in general very melodic and rich, I am missing these tunes or refrains that will stick in my head. “From Ashes to the Frozen Land” is released via Mighty Music in a 4-panel digipak edition CD. Artwork design is by Blackout Multimedia and Ithilien. You can visit the band’s official pages for more info, or listen to the official lyric video for “Reckless Child” below to get a first taste of their music.