Pagan folk metallers Encorion from the Southern Netherlands are back with their new work. This 5-piece band was formed in the end of 2007 and one year later their first 3-track promo was out. The band signed a deal with the Greek label Sleaszy Rider Records to release their debut full-length album “Facing History and Ourselves“ on the 7th of March 2011. Keeping the same line-up and gaining a lot of experience from numerous live shows, Encorion return on the 5th of April 2013 with their second full-length album “Our Pagan Hearts Reborn“, released again via Sleaszy Rider.
I am impressed by the improvement of their sound and by the overall quality of this new work. Encorion have a very professional production and their music sounds so much more solid and powerful. The band plays pagan folk metal of an equally melodic and aggressive nature and their music has a relatively sad melancholic atmosphere. Great epic riffs and melodic lead guitars are combined with Tessa’s amazing violins, whistles and cello. They use both expressive pagan screams and melodic melancholic clean male vocals in wonderful dialogue between them. A few choirs add an epic layer in their music, while many guest vocals are performed by members from Vanir, Baldrs Draumar and Conorach. “Our Pagan Hearts Reborn” lasts for almost 50 minutes, including 8 songs totally. Two of them are completely acoustic and the band proves to be very good at this instrumental style too, since these songs are not just fillers, but could easily stand in a folk acoustic album. The highlight of the album is “Spirit, We are One“, with its amazing violin melodies; one of my favorite songs in 2013 so far! This track alone could be a reason to get the album, a real pagan folk metal masterpiece, for which the band has also made a video. Of course the rest of the compositions are at a great level too, with many wonderful moments to memorize, but with some weaker parts too. Lyrics are in English, except few verses in Dutch, dealing with pagan themes and European culture in times before Christianity.
Encorion make a really remarkable return and I strongly recommend “Our Pagan Hearts Reborn” to fans of pagan folk metal. The band reveals its huge potentials, since there are moments in the album, where their music touches perfection. I just hope that their next work will be at this high level from start to end! The CD is released by Sleaszy Rider Records in standard jewel-case edition with 8-page booklet, illustrated by Michael Dubbelt and including all the lyrics. You can visit their official pages below for sound samples and more details.