Ilungara - From The Ashes To The Dust review
|Album:||From The Ashes To The Dust|
01. Rise & Burn
02. Ashes To Ashes
03. Crystal Soul
04. End Of An Era
05. The Seafoam
06. Return To The Dark
07. Last Requiem
08. Errautsatik Errautsata
09. Fucking Hostile [live][Pantera cover][Hidden track]
After a short, symphonic introduction, quite typical of Power Metal releases, the album really starts. And if I tell you it IS power metal, you won't be surprised, right? Guess what, it is. But just labeling it that way might be a tad limited. So let's delve a bit deeper…
OK, there's high pitched choruses most of the times, double-bass drumming, two trademarks of the style (do you really want me to repeat 'power metal' again?). And indeed, most of the drumming uses the same structures as Helloween or Stratovarius. But, the guitar work, with its very melodic solos (quite extensive at times), is more reminiscent of classic heavy metal (the riffing of the good "Return To The Dark" song really has this Maiden touch). Finally, only hinted at times, there's a small thrash side to this band, when the singer goes in lower tones, and the riffing is a little more aggressive, like in "Errautsatik Errautsara". Or of course in the hidden bonus track, which is none other than a live cover of "Fucking Hostile".
The singer generally sings his verses in a lower tone than is usual for this kind of stuff (and that's good), but the chorus are classically high-pitched; this part is correct, but not more. The guitar and bass work is nothing but very good. The players are really talented, it's all played flawlessly, efficiently and as melodic as needed. The songwriting, if not original, is quite good for the style; the riffs and bass lines are above average, while the drumming is pretty uninspired. Not that the drummer is bad, it's just that it's not varied, and as such not really interesting.
I'm nearly at the end already, and I haven't mentioned anything yet about this band, Ilungara. They are four guys coming from Basque country, but whether from the French or Spanish side, I don't know. Those who have noticed the strange song title above ("Errautsatik Errautsara", that's the one) might see where I'm going: yes they have done a song in Euskara, the Basque language. And it sounds great!!
Finally…While I don't know if the world really needed another power metal band (thankfully closer to Helloween than to the flower power scene), this first album - in fact, it's only an EP, really - is a good start. Now, they'll have to develop a real and original identity to survive in this overcrowded subgenre of metal. Singing in euskara is a first step, they should really do some more like this. I also liked the thrashier moments. But, even if some vocals and the drumming can be improved, with great guitar players like these, they shouldn't have any real problem to come up with a really good album - and a label.
||Written on 02.10.2009 by Once your regular Hellfest reporter, now retired. I (strangely enough) listen to a lot of metal. And enjoy good beers, comics, novels and role-playing games.|
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