The Belgian folk music is a joyful one, fueled by values, story telling and imagination. Ithilien, are a band that has accomplished a lot since their final line up in 2012 from traveling Europe and representing their sound and image on stage, to wining Belgium’s best composer & performer contest Concours-Circuit (2013). This past February 17th, the Belgian titans have unleashed a masterfully composed death core/folk metal album titled Shaping the Soul, a compelling album filled with bagpipes, whistles and a bouzouki. This allows the band to explore topics the listener can relate to such as: loss and all that comes with it, which strengthen your soul, from going through depression, denial and so forth. Their influence is derived from bands like Architects, Parkway Drive, All Shall Perish and many more.
In this album, the first track titled “Blindfolded” sets the atmosphere for this melancholic record, with the bagpipe (H. Bailly) being the first empowering instrument you hear, transitioning to a heavy metal guitar riff (Pierre Ithilien T. Soete) soon after, chased with guttural vocals (Pierre Ithilien). The song goes in and out from metal to folk, adding a heavier and rhythmical sound to it with the bagpipe and Nyckelharpa (S. Gelin). This is not your typical folk metal band, they want to have a concept, and with each track you will hear the theme evolving into this whirlpool one enters in the time of pain. The guitars are heavy in the background on track “Lies after Lies” with amazing mid tempo drums by J. Winkelmans, which will encompass the bass guitar B. Delbar , getting a whimsical feel as the violin ( M. Mens) kicks in adding that medieval mythical sound. Their album is a mind twisting, soul rehabilitating quest, which will have you head banging, and enjoying great tunes. The track “If Only” is a slower track, marking the album’s midpoint. However, the track has a virulent sound, one that will resonate deep in the soul, with a melody for all. If you are looking for a song with more of a metal substance in it, check out track titled “Edelweiss”, the potent guitar riff sets the tone for a night of metal moshpits, and aggressive dancing to heavy melodies.
This is the Belgian folk/metalcore that Ithilien has created and it is a journey one must take as we are devastated by loss, betrayal and life, as we understand that it is part of humanity, we must also understand the reality of it. This epic album “Shaping the Soul” is mending melodic metal for our time, make sure to grab your copy and rage on.
Written By: Hostile Jo
Here is a video of their track “Edelweiss”