Boisson Divine – La Halha

Band: Boisson Divine
Album: La Halha
Release Date: 27th May 2020
Record Label: Brennus Music

I first came across Boisson Divine via Skiltron, more specifically through Pereg, their bagpipe player. It was only fitting since Boisson Divine has recently released a new album that I use that as my excuse to finally have a listen.

Warning: Being the ignorant Brit I am, I unfortunately don’t speak or understand very much Gascon at all, but Boisson Divine did post a great explanation of their tracks for non-Gascon speaking fans here. I would definitely encourage you to have a read. My review below mainly focuses on what the music is like and how it makes me feel.
Amendment: I have been very kindly educated by Pereg on the language of the album, Gascon. It was spoken in around half of France before French was imposed across the nation to unify.

Lo Pela Porc (The Pig Kill) has a very folky introduction with lots of traditional instrumentation, before the metal kicks in and the tempo increases. It’s a very high energy and fast paced track to start off with. Straight away I know that this is a band I would love to see live, and dance around to. It’s just a feel good instrumental and I am loving it. There’s some great bagpipe work and I do love a good bagpipe in my metal. Novempopulania has a heavier metal feel with the chugging, and is at a slower pace, but it’s by no means melancholy. It almost sounds power metal, which of course in this little corner of the internet is no bad thing at all. If I had some competent Gascon language skills, this would definitely be one to sing along to.

Suu Camin Estelat (On the Starlit Path) goes back to the more traditional folk introduction, and it lasts over a minute before we back into a fast paced section and then piano for the first vocal lines. Another high energy track which, as with track 2, has a power metal feel, this is another one I can see myself using up a lot of energy on to party to! Back to a much more folk metal style, Xivalier De Sentralha (Knight of Xaintrailles) again slows the pace down, with a faster tempo in the bridges, and high energy, dancey instrumentals in the chorus. I would be exhausted seeing Boisson Divine live!

There is a calming start to the 8:50 long epic Rei de Sueda (King of Sweden). Even when the main body of the track kicks in, it’s a much more acoustic and chilled out feel. Even when the instrumental builds up to the more metal side, it’s still mid paced, with no high energy jumping around feel. It’s got a bouncey feel to it, and would be a nice breather for anyone having a Boisson Divine party. At just over 6 minutes in, the track picks up some pace with a guitar solo. The track flows really well with the differing tempos.

For this album, unusually, La Sicolana (The Lizard) being with vocals, and group vocals at that. I am a sucker for group vocals, and this is no exception. After a lovely introduction, the heavy metal kicks in, and it’s a lovely mid paced track to bounce along to. Again, another one to sing along to if you are somewhat competent in Gascon

. The end of the track slows right now, and is lovely and calming. Abelion has a short folk introduction before yet another feel good main instrumental. Another nice mid paced track to bounce along to, with the folk instruments taking a bit more of a back seat.

Un Darrer Cop (One Last Time) has another group vocal intro (cue shivers down my spine), and is a more acoustic track with a soft lilting feel. I would love to be able to sing along to this, or having a nice rest and pause. It sounds beautiful, and even when the instrumental builds up to a guitar solo, it still maintains the calming and peaceful feel. Libertat (Freedom) certainly has a freeing feel, especially after the calming feel of the previous track. It’s fast paced and I can see myself having a good old dance to this.

The final track, Milharis, has lots of fiddle, and has a feel good vibe, it’s great to see an album finish on a great high note. I’d love to be standing in a field with a drink, living my best life having a good old dance to this… Maybe one day! It’s a 10 minute long epic to finish the album, and it’s easy to get lost in the music. The different parts flow so well together, and that feeling of wanting to be in a field listening to this track never fades.

To be honest, this was the first time I’d given Boisson Divine some time to check them out. I’ve been on a massive power metal binge recently and to listen to some new folk metal I hadn’t heard before was really refreshing! I definitely need to dive into the back catalogue and have a good listen and expand my French/Gascon folk metal knowledge! This album is largely upbeat, and there’s a general good feeling. For me, there is definitely some power metal elements in there, and that is certainly no bad thing! La Halha is definitely an album that will be on my repeats this year.

Boisson Divine – Libertat

Verdict: 9/10

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