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1. Utstøtt - Legender Odin 3.8
2. Adorned Brood - Asgard 3.5
3. Last Wail - The Tale of Endless Night 4.5
4. Lemuria - Chanson de la Croisade 4.5
5. Arkona - Slovo 4.0

Lemuria - Chanson de la Croisade

Author admin
Thu 13 Dec 12
/ 5

This album turns out to be an intense, diverse and entertaining piece of work that keeps you interested for all of its 64 minutes.

The album is a digipack with stunning artwork by Kris Verwimp, and a thick booklet containing the lyrics and accompanying texts. The text for the instrumental Occitania, Anno 1209 takes us all the way back to the Dark Ages in southern France, where the Cathars were about crushed by the vengeful army of the Vatican. This is going to be a ride through history!

The first real song on the album, The Cross and the Crusade, shows what you can expect from this album, without being a real blueprint for every other song on the album. You can hear how important the keyboards are to the music: Chanson de la Croisade is a very melodic album and lots of the melodies are carried by the keyboards. Now, that’s not so difficult a thing to do. Making sure the music doesn’t drown in keyboards melodies and keeping the keys interesting, that’s the catch. Because of the dynamic use of the keyboards, with changes in sound and mix, cheesiness is avoided with grace. At times the keys sound like a medieval flute, a harpsichord or the keys just provide a solid base on which the other instruments do their own thing, thus making the music sound “fuller” and “warmer”.

The music is metal with soundtrack allures at several points. The atmosphere in the music, created by melodies, paces and vocals, really create the epic battlefields in your mind. The effect of a soundtrack increases when you read the lyrics and texts while listening to the music. In the lyrics, the different characters of the story are marked, so that the lyrics themselves make more sense: “who says what, and why”. As a lover of film scores, this kind of metal is pure gold.

The genre of metal played on this album is a blend of epic symphonic, folk and black metal. The symphonic and folk part comes from the keyboards, while the black metal comes from the riffs and the vocals. Mainly grunts, but not inaudible. That adds power to the music, and fits the grim story told about.

There are a few short interludes, with keyboards providing an intro to the next song. These interludes provide the time to catch up with the story if you’re reading the text. A remarkable song is Court Music. This is a completely instrumental song, with the normal instruments as well as an acoustic guitar. The song changes between medieval melodic metal and parts where the acoustic guitars draws all attention. Listening to this song, you start imagining the halls of big castles and the feasts held therein.

All in all, this album turns out to be one of my favourites of 2010. Due to the melodies, dynamic songstructures, the importance of the keyboards and the combination of story with music a comparison with Bal-Sagoth is justified. None of the songs bores, even the longer ones because of the changes they have. Lovers of epic keyboard oriented, solid metal music definitely should check out Lemuria.

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