Album: Tales From This Land
Release Date: 29th June 2018
Record Label: Underground Symphony
The guys from Aexylium contacted me and asked me if I would give their album a listen, so of course since it’s folk metal, I gladly obliged. As a disclaimer, they are not paying me for this review, and all opinions are my own. I believe that you should check out and support smaller bands and, if you are able to, buy their music and merch to help them out. Even listening on Spotify or iTunes can give them a little bit of money to help keep them going.
Aexylium are an Italian folk metal band and Tales From This Land is their debut album, which draws on Celtic and Nordic themes as well as their own imagination for the lyrical and melodic themes.
The album kicks off with Prelude to a Journey, which does exactly what it says on the tin. It’s a lovely folky tune, which starts with a crackling fire, flutes and piano, and shuffling type noises, as if items are being prepared for a battle. The main body of the track is jolly, and synthy, with guitars and drums. The track ends the same way it began, with fire, strings, piano and calm. Black Flag, as the name may suggest, has a very piratical theme, and has almost a full orchestra, with flutes, strings, guitars, drums and brass. It is a fast paced track with clean vocals.
Into The Jaws Of Fenrir has a string melody intro, with a slower pace than the previous track, but it is still folky. The track gets heavier, with harsh vocals and breaks in the vocals with flute interludes between vocal sections. The chorus is a mix of the harsh and clean vocals. There are contrasting heavy and calmer sections and there is even a flute solo in there. Aexylium follows and begins with a single flute melody before the full band kicks in. The track is heavy but dancey and jiggy, and we are back to the clean vocals.
My Favourite Nightmare is a more unusual track, the melodies don’t quite seem to fit together, but this does add to the theme of the title. There are dual melodies with flutes and strings, and the overall flavour is heavy with clean vocals once again. Banshee has a very atmospheric opening, with a string melody that alternates with heavy drums. The strings are taken over by flute melodies, and again this alternates with heavy drums. The harsh vocals are back again.
Tales From Nowhere begins with flutes and acoustic guitar, before the full band kicks in and strings take over the melody. It is a faster paced trains with clean lead vocals and heavier, harsh backing vocals. However, when the vocals come in the instrumental does get a slower in pace, almost a little ballad-y. There is a breakdown with flutes and chimes before the full band kicks in at the slower pace once again.
Revive the Village begins with bagpipes, and flutes soon join in. I’m honestly not too sure if this harmonises too well. The track is happy and jiggy, and there is also a string breakdown during the track. The Blind Crow begins with harpsichord-like sounds, followed by the inclusion of the guitars, flutes and strings. Again this is a slower paced track, with clean lead and harsh backing vocals, and also some clean group vocals,
Judas’ Revenge begins with acoustic guitar, flute and strings. The track then gets heavier with electric guitar and drums, and then we have the jigging kick in, with accordion and piratey themes. Again we have the clean vocals. The final track, Ragagast, again has a piratical theme with accordions and flutes. It kicks off with only drums before the full instrumental comes in. There are clean vocals, and accordion and flute solos. It is definitely a party track, and I can imagine many a good drink to this at folk metal parties.
This debut from Aexylium sounds absolutely fantastic. It is a really, really good first album for the band, and I hope to hear more from them in the future. The album is happy, jiggy and definitely worthy of the title of folk metal. I expect big things from this Italian band in the future, and you should definitely go and show them your support!
Buy Tales From This Land: https://aexylium.bandcamp.com/
Follow Aexylium on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aexylium/
Listen to Aexylium on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/4qWmQxIaQvPySTMjSCswO6