Rating:
8.1
Haggard - Tales Of Ithiria
29 August 2008


01. The Origin
02. Chapter I - Tales Of Ithiria
03. From Deep Within
04. Chapter II - Upon Fallen Autumn Leaves
05. In Des Königs Hallen (Allegretto Siciliano)
06. Chapter III - La Terra Santa
07. Vor Dem Sturme
08. Chapter IV - The Sleeping Child
09. Hijo De La Luna [Mecano cover]
10. On These Endless Fields
11. Chapter V - The Hidden Sign


The symphonic powerhouse that is Haggard has marked listeners with their firs two albums, namely Awaking the Centuries [2000] and Eppur Si Muove [2004]. The long awaited successor has now been unveiled this month with Tales of Ithiria. In the continuation of their previous releases, their new offering varies little from the winning formula used by their main composer Asis Nasseri.

Another four years have passed and yet Haggard is still a well reckoned name, the quality of their symphonic power metal surpassing anything previously known. The full orchestra is back in action, more determined than ever before. However, while satisfying the Tales of Ithiria are lacking the wow factor that I was expecting from Haggard. All their classic elements are present, their heavy riffs thrive, classically trained singers are showcasing their talents, but despite all of that something is missing to win me over completely.

The narrator short passages add little to the music, and the fast heavy parts are too dispersed to turn this album into a proud successor of Eppur Si Muove. The Meccano cover 'Hijo de la Luna' is a very nice surprise, although I doubt it will convince die-hard fans as well as nostalgic fans of the Spanish combo. The production is in my opinion not on par with their previous album either, which does not help.

Overall a decent album, but not enough true Haggard-style music to turn heads around. A couple more songs would have definitely added tremendous value. Nevertheless, Tales of Ithria is still a special album, which should fill fans of symphonic power with enough value for their buck.

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 9
Production: 6


Band profile: Haggard
Album: Tales Of Ithiria


 


written by Demonic Tutor | 19.09.2008



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schwanderen - 19.09.2008 at 12:47  
Agreed, the heavy guitar is produced too distant too being anything other than ambiance, and i agree that the album theme, fantasy, gives it a more romantic sound in contrast to the power of the latest two. Very accurate review, by my opinion, except Haggard has NEVER had any affiliation with power metal, in sound, musicianship or genre.
Collin - 19.09.2008 at 13:40  
"the Tales of Ithiria are lacking the wow factor that I was expecting from Haggard"

This is exactly what I thought after the first couple of spins. It is a good album but it clearly doesn't show the four years of hard work which led to its release. It's just not a surprising album. And I too miss the heavy guitars.
Katatronik - 19.09.2008 at 14:50  
Agree with you, especially for the production and the guitars, not very powerful... Good album anyway, but Eppur Si Muove is their real masterpiece IMO
iceland_Norway - 19.09.2008 at 15:59  
I must Listen to it and Preview albums for Haggard.
corrupt - 19.09.2008 at 16:01  
Pretty much my opinion too. Only the narrated parts between the songs sound ridiculous. Seens as how long the album was postponed I really expected Asis to outperform hisself this time. Hence I was really disappointed when I got the album. Also the "limited edition" is nothing more than a paper box and patch. Expected more on that front too.

But one thing, Haggard have three Albums out so far, not counting "Progressive". Before the two you mentioned, there was "And Thou Shalt Trust... The Seer" from 1997.
THE_BLACK_GOD - 19.09.2008 at 17:52  
i liked the album so much, respectful. and rated it 8. but i dont know how ppl vote in MS!!! i saw 4 1 votes here for this album. i dont know why ppl vote an album which they didnt buy or wont buy never! i know a lot of them who vote like this cause their band has released an album and they want to take down other bands. so i think Stuff has to found a way to this problem! for example they can divide more voted albums! in 100 level 1 200 level 2 ....... and then no one would vote like this.

changed my mind after listening it time and time again my vote is 9.
Talvi - 19.09.2008 at 22:46  
This band has nothing to do with power metal, even if this album has too much narration.
corrupt - 20.09.2008 at 01:01  
Written by Talvi on 19.09.2008 at 22:46
This band has nothing to do with power metal, even if this album has too much narration.

qft.
Angel_Lament - 20.09.2008 at 17:54  
Written by Guest on 19.09.2008 at 17:52

i liked the album so much, respectful. and rated it 8. but i dont know how ppl vote in MS!!! i saw 4 1 votes here for this album. i dont know why ppl vote an album which they didnt buy or wont buy never! i know a lot of them who vote like this cause their band has released an album and they want to take down other bands. so i think Stuff has to found a way to this problem! for example they can divide more voted albums! in 100 level 1 200 level 2 ....... and then no one would vote like this.

changed my mind after listening it time and time again my vote is 9.



Agree with u
I saw a lot of ppl doing this, such an aweful thing!!
They just dont want to see specific albums(Dont like or bands they dont like) on MS charts, just like Kamelot's The second Coming, it was on the No.1 rating 9.5
then one day later it was out of the Charts with 8.5!!!! (And many voted dont have it)
I mean what the Hell is wrong with these ppl???!!!
Anyway, about Haggard's new album, I found it really convincing & Beautiful album
maybe it isnt like Eppur Si Muove, or Doesnt have good Production....
But I wont Judge it this way, The Music (Guitars or Symphonics) are so good, and the vocals are tooo Fantastic, and thats what's matters to me!
My rate is 8.9
schwanderen - 20.09.2008 at 19:39  
Written by Guest on 19.09.2008 at 17:52

i liked the album so much, respectful. and rated it 8. but i dont know how ppl vote in MS!!! i saw 4 1 votes here for this album. i dont know why ppl vote an album which they didnt buy or wont buy never! i know a lot of them who vote like this cause their band has released an album and they want to take down other bands. so i think Stuff has to found a way to this problem! for example they can divide more voted albums! in 100 level 1 200 level 2 ....... and then no one would vote like this.


People who vote an album like Tales of Ithiria a 1 seriously lack the insight and respect or a musician like Asis, who arrange entire albums with a mini symphonic arrangement acoustic and across genres. You have to take in mind the process and the enormous work it takes to release such an album. People who rate it a 1 is either people that don't play music or don't listen probably. Im not saying that one have to like it, but you can't rate such performance without considering these factors.
So yes, i agree with you, its horrible:)
TyrannicalGOD - 27.09.2008 at 22:15  
i just got the album today...i am disapointed on the length...43 minutes is NOT enough.... i like the way it was produced....with the guitars and and vocals sounding ANALOG ...eppur si muove has it and so does the seer....MS should change the way u vote BY inputing the Serial number on the back of the CD case as confirmation thet u do in fact OWN the Album...
Duy Hung - 29.09.2008 at 00:40  
I don't know, but this album just doesn't really work for me. Clearly it lacks of something, i don't know if there has been any changes in the line-up but the classical side seems to be weaker this time compared to previous Haggard albums, a bit plain and uninspired. Overall, not really a bad album, but i prefer Awaking The Centuries or Eppur Si Muove
MétalNoir - 13.02.2009 at 02:16  
Eppur Si Muove was much heavier and symphonic. Tales of Ithiria is more like atmospheric rock with growls here and there, but on the whole, the album is not very powerful. I like the narration, though. The actor speaks very clearly and it's easy to follow the story even if English is not your mother tongue. Some narrative tracks are actually more epic than "real" ones...
Ernis - 23.02.2009 at 08:08  
Yes the album seems slightly short....one would expect something larger of it but in general it is a wonderful work from a wondrous band....and the Mecano cover is one of the best covers of recent years....
Dark Cornatus - 01.03.2009 at 05:05  
I dont think you could rate the album over 8 for a few reasons. It is too short (in terms of actual songs), poor production that clearly shows, and the narratives are just plain bad, im sure that there might be some who enjoy the whole story, but i bet even they would skip them after a few listens.

However, 3 tracks off the album stand out for me as some of their best work. Tracks 2, 8 and 4 respectivly.
Dominus - 02.03.2009 at 17:22  
The best Haggard album. Nice song "Hijo de la Luna" (Son Of The Moon)
bayern - 05.03.2009 at 13:53  
It's a great album, it cant be compared with Eppur si Mouve wich is heavyer but i like this new album and i give it 10.
My favourite is Eppur si Mouve a 10+++++.
Solstafir! - 02.05.2009 at 00:05  
This is my first album of Haggard, and I have to say I was quite impressed with their blend of music, even though i found the production horrible!
Goes well with RPGs...
Elyar S. - 05.09.2010 at 21:37  
This is not just a good album but even comparable with Awakening the Centuries I think.
Giok99 - 12.11.2011 at 12:42  
Really love this album. The production is really nice and i LOVE the voice of the narrator. The ambiance on this disk is awesome, make me feel taken in another century in a land far far away. Great work, for me the best one.
Paradox0 - 01.05.2012 at 07:36  
I'm not too sure what Haggard was trying to do with this album. The beginning intro is just ridiculous to the opener pretty much "every thing is fine now but 1074 years ago shit was not good", but I was thinking, "yeah alot can happen in 1000 years, seriously not one bad thing has happened to Ithiria in the past 1000 years?"

As for the music itself, it seems just lazy and uninspired at times. Haggard seems to want to go more into a classical direction but I think that just might alienate their fans enjoying the fusion of classical (or medieval) instrumentation with metal by doing this. The death grunts seem to be out of place most of the time, when clean vocals are much more fitting. In moments when our hero is lamenting on how he must leave his home and may never return, the death grunts just come off as silly, especially right after transitioning from the clean vocals. Admittedly there is effort to make these vocals expressive but they just seem very misplaced. The only time the metal sections really added anything was in "The Sleeping Child" with the galloping sections.

I think I might be the only person who actually liked the narrations. The articulation was clear, dark, and foreboding as being in the same language as most of the album.
Kuroboshi - 19.07.2013 at 17:13  
Written by Paradox0 on 01.05.2012 at 07:36

As for the music itself, it seems just lazy and uninspired at times. Haggard seems to want to go more into a classical direction but I think that just might alienate their fans enjoying the fusion of classical (or medieval) instrumentation with metal by doing this. The death grunts seem to be out of place most of the time, when clean vocals are much more fitting. In moments when our hero is lamenting on how he must leave his home and may never return, the death grunts just come off as silly, especially right after transitioning from the clean vocals. Admittedly there is effort to make these vocals expressive but they just seem very misplaced. The only time the metal sections really added anything was in "The Sleeping Child" with the galloping sections.

Word. You said it. This is easily their worst, IMO. Whereas their 2nd and 3rd albums really had beautiful and awe-inspiring melodies, this seems to hamper. Just not going anywhere.

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