This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

Please consider supporting this website by disabling your ad-blocker. This website does not use audio ads, pop-ups, or other annoyances. And please support Terra Relicta by giving a little donation if you can! Thank you!!!

Random album

Aorlhac - L’Esprit des Vents (2018) - Review

Band: Aorlhac
Album title: L’Esprit des Vents
Release Date: 2 March 2018
Label: Les Acteurs de L’Ombre Productions

01. Aldérica
02. La révolte des tuchins
03. Infâme Saurimonde
04. Ode ŕ la croix cléchée
05. 1802-1869 | Les méfaits de Mornac
06. Mandrin, l’enfant perdu
07. La procession des trépassés
08. Une vie de reclus (quand les remparts ne protčgent plus)
09. L’ora es venguda
10. L’esprit des vents

Occitania is a historic region comprising the south of France and northern Italy and Spain. The older society that developed in this region had a culture based on equality in human rights, racial and religious tolerance, and a culture of love that allowed for the first moral and social promotion of women. Aorlhac returns with their third album extolling their medieval roots, addressing the heritage of their ancestors.

The band originated in 2007 and consists of NKS (An Norvys, Astaroth, ex-Towersound, ex-Aeterna Hystoria) on guitars, bass and compositions, Spellbound (An Norvys, former Towersound) on vocals and responsible for the lyrics, Lonn (ex-Towersound) on lead guitar and Ardraos on drums. L'Esprit des Vents is a part of the trilogy started in 2008 with the album La Croisée des Vents and followed by La Cité des Vents in 2010. Despite being dormant for many years the new album of Aorlhac is a continuity of the work begun back in 2008, but the band has since then improved very much in terms of sound elaboration.

Thematically the album addresses the difficulties and struggles of personalities in the medieval times of that region, so no wonder why all the lyrics are written in French, sometimes using even the Occitan language. It has a great productional value, but what impresses the most is the strong, authentic epic/melodic black metal, praising the second wave in a semi-raw presentation. The band writes their songs with passion and skill narrating their roots. The vocalist delivers his thematic lyrics trough a very satisfying blackened shrieking screams. Other clean vocal approaches and subtle choirs are included from time to time, adding variety and beauty.

The album is comprising of ten tracks with a playing time of almost one hour, and in this hour these heroic troubadours plunge you into this convincing and enjoyable journey that must be heard several times. The captivating melodic lines are well executed. Guitar riffs are strong and intense, with some intruguing leads, technically demanding and blistering, there is a whole magic in the approach of this instrument, sometimes even remainding a bit to old school Iron Maiden heavy metal manner, just listen to the leads in "Mandrin, l’enfant perdu". Very interesting is also the inclusion of a string instrument that is probably native to the region, and of course I can’t forget to mention the powerful rhythmic line, devastating drums and the frenetic mind blowing speed present in each composition.

From the first track, "Aldérica", the emotion, the passion and pathos of the tracks settles in me. Very interesting and unexpected is the sound continuity at the end and at the beginning of the tracks. The commitment to give the listener the interpretation of the stories is incredible, there's constantly present a certain melancholia and it seems that Spellbound really feels what he sings and this is essential and not always common.

My favorite tracks are "Aldérica", "Infâme Saurimonde" and "L’ora es venguda", although to be truthful, it is sacrilegious to choose favourite tracks in this album. Everything on this piece of art is of a perfection and impressive delivery. I highly recommend this work that enhances the roots and love for the native land. An album for every fan of epic black metal, especially it's recommended to those who dig up bands like Windir, Enslaved, Moonsorrow, Sühnopfer, Taake or even Dissection.

Review written by: Felin Frost
Rating: 9/10