Total Time: 01:14:21
Label: Brennus Music
A six-member band from Gascony, France. What instruments do they use (except guitar, bass, drums)? Boha (traditional local bagpipe), accordion, hurdy gurdy (known mainly from ELUVEITE), psalter, and more. Drink they like? Local wine. Language in which they sing? French and more specifically their idiom. Festivals they play? “Traditional, Heavy Metal, big most popular. Or sometimes all three together.” I think you understand where this is going.
Baptiste Labenne (vocals, bass, boha) and Adrian Gilles (drums, vocals), in 2005 being only 13 years old and students got together when they saw each other at school with some IRON MAIDEN t-shirts…Since then they stuck togther. Sharing their love for their traditional local history, but also their common love for… rubgy, they have since started writing songs. The dream began to take on flesh and blood, until they formed their own band. “La halha” is their third and far more mature effort and the truth is that we it is not that usual for a band to release two good records and then have that kind of development… Reminding us of BLIND GUARDIAN, KAMELOT, IRON MAIDEN, ELUVEITE, the This Heavy / Folk band is overflowing with energy, passion, power, melody, enthusiasm in their music but also a love for tradition, which is transformed with as much folk elements as possible. The most important thing about this record is that the traditional elements, especially the melodies. My mind just can’t get how it is possible to fit so many catchy melodies and choruses in one record. The orchestrations are at a very high level, the melody in the solos is almost divine. We also get to hear their “single” track, which speaks about nature and tradition, called “Libertat”, which is their simplest song in here, but a catchy one.
The listener will encounter Heavy / Power outbursts in almost every song (“Suu camin estelat”, “Xivalièr de Sentralha” are just a few of them). Folk elements are literally everywhere and the French prove that they know how to write amazing melodies on Boha, but also on other instruments. Speeds are not always that fast (“Un darrèr còp”), but what differentiates them other than Folk elements? The near to 9 minute song called “Rei de Suèda”, starts with an acoustic, folk-y beginning, a catchy Boha melody that you will remember for a long time, heavier passages right after that part, a superb choruus, an acoustic piano and voice alone excerpt, a dynamic solo, to close with a crazy a-la IRON MAIDEN… three instruments solo… Yes, two guitars and a boha that is… The closing title is being embodied with a 10 minute (!) proggy song called “Milharis”, which like the aforementioned track just contains everything, and a huge guitar solo that will leave a blend of emotions in the listener. It’s really one of the perfect ways for an album to “say goodbye” to the listener.
“Even if time will break me, even if the current will sweep me away, I will always swim against the tide, free, never imprisoned” sing the French. This is what the French like, this is what they do and oh boy they do deliver! A huge development for this “small” band. Could as well be nominated for one of the best folk albums of the year. Je suis fan. Merci beaucoup, Boisson Divine!!!
Editor: Giannis Michailidis
Related Link: BOISSON DIVINE – Official Page