Rating:
8.0
Aiumeen Basoa - Iraganeko Bide Malkartsutik
15 May 2010


01. Kantauriko Trebain Erruak
02. Jentil Odola
03. Aintzinako Guduen Oroimenak
04. Akelarrearen Sua
05. Ekaitzaren Begitik
06. Arlekiña (Aiumeen Basoa)


Release dates:
May 15: Basque Country
May 25: Worldwide


Folk metal
Spain
Erzsebet Records / Indar Productions

Line-up on the CD:
Beleak - vocals, guitars
Mikelot - guitar, vocals
Oihane - vocals
Egoitz - bass, keyboards
Fory - drums
Ibai - accordion, piano
Imanol - violin


Aiumeen Basoa are pioneers of the Basque pagan folk metal scene of today, which really isn't saying much, as there is currently a noticeable shortage of Basque pagan folk metal bands in existence. This is likely due to the fact that the Basque language is specific to approximately 600,000 Basque Country residents.

The band has been active since 1994, yet Iraganeko Bide Malkartsutik is their full-length debut. You'll notice by now that unless you're a language fetishist, there's really no hope in attempting to pronounce these names properly. Now on to the music...

Accordions, violins, sweeping melodic guitars, black metal shrieks and clean vocals (male and female) are what make up this incredibly atmospheric album. From beginning to end, all 50+ minutes of Iraganeko Bide Malkartsutik will have even the most skeptical folk metal listeners rocking. While the genre is fast becoming stale, Aiumeen Basoa is keeping up with the likes of Finsterforst and Kroda, pushing boundaries with lengthy and progressive material that sheds the stereotype of being a style bent on making you feel the urge to take a trip to the local pub.

Indeed, the alternating pace and sorrowful harmonies of the overwhelming softer sections really add to the album's overall mood, one that makes seamless transitions from hate-driven black metal to relaxing traditional Celtic music - a brilliant display of incredible songwriting. This is all backed up by a masterful production that captures the essence of every instrument, adding to the significance of the album's content by carefully showing the listener just how much effort was put in to each section. Dan Swanö, responsible for mastering the album, is undoubtedly proud of himself.

Of course, as a debut album, this release is subject to one glaring flaw: originality. By no means do Aiumeen Basoa blatantly rip any single band off, but there is a bit of an issue for me when it comes to the transitions. As seamless as they are, they tend to sound too much like the background music to a Middle Age-era war movie, particularly during a scene involving frolicking in an open meadow. There are moments when this is simply too merry for its own good; it detracts from the honesty of the band's hard work and sometimes crosses into pretentious territory. That being said, Iraganeko Bide Malkartsutik is a wonderful piece of folk metal art that combines everything good about the genre without being restricted by its stereotypes, and for those who are easily scared off by such "soft" music, rest assured that this band packs quite a punch.


Website: http://www.myspace.com/aiumeenbasoa

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 7
Production: 9


 



Written on 15.05.2010 by
Troy Killjoy
Just another opinionated guy telling you what to listen to.
More reviews by Troy Killjoy ››



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Winterthrone - 15.05.2010 at 00:54  
Sounds interesting, I'm gonna check that out! Very good review, by the way! My girlfriend is very fond of Folk Metal so that could make a good gift!
Troy Killjoy - 15.05.2010 at 00:59  
Written by Winterthrone on 15.05.2010 at 00:54

Sounds interesting, I'm gonna check that out! Very good review, by the way! My girlfriend is very fond of Folk Metal so that could make a good gift!


Thanks! It's definitely a bit of a grower and maybe there are times when it's more black metal driven than pure folk metal, but I'd definitely recommend this to fans of the genre.

PS- you'll have to wait until the 25th if you're looking to buy this, unless you live in Basque Country.
Winterthrone - 15.05.2010 at 01:07  
She likes black metal as well, so that could interest her! If I can find this in Quebec!
Troy Killjoy - 15.05.2010 at 01:11  
Written by Winterthrone on 15.05.2010 at 01:07

She likes black metal as well, so that could interest her! If I can find this in Quebec!


If you can't find it in a record store you could always order a copy via their Myspace page, or try The End Records, who are responsible for distributing the album in the US.
MeloDeathViking - 18.05.2010 at 18:37  
Well Troy, you've talked me into ordering it! Even paide the extra $1.50 for priority mail! Definitely seems like it should be an intresting release. I'm a sucker for good folk metal.
Troy Killjoy - 18.05.2010 at 19:15  
Written by MeloDeathViking on 18.05.2010 at 18:37

Well Troy, you've talked me into ordering it! Even paide the extra $1.50 for priority mail! Definitely seems like it should be an intresting release. I'm a sucker for good folk metal.


Awesome! I hope you like it as much (or even more) than I did. To be honest I don't even like listening to folk metal; I've almost wiped my hard drive clean of the stuff, but this album definitely hits hard and is worthy of an impulse buy. Let me know if you like what you hear.
MeloDeathViking - 25.05.2010 at 20:17  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 18.05.2010 at 19:15

Written by MeloDeathViking on 18.05.2010 at 18:37

Well Troy, you've talked me into ordering it! Even paide the extra $1.50 for priority mail! Definitely seems like it should be an intresting release. I'm a sucker for good folk metal.


Awesome! I hope you like it as much (or even more) than I did. To be honest I don't even like listening to folk metal; I've almost wiped my hard drive clean of the stuff, but this album definitely hits hard and is worthy of an impulse buy. Let me know if you like what you hear.


The cd arrived while I was out of town so I just listened to it last night and today. I really like this album. As good as the extreme parts are, it's that soft folky parts that really make this album. I love traditional folk instruments and they are used perfectly on this album. My only complaint is that I wish there was another song or two, but with that being my only complaint, I'd give this album an 8.5. Definitely in the running to get a vote for folk album and debut album of the year come awards time.
Dima - 23.03.2014 at 08:29  
I love this release so much <3

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