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Dunwich - Heilagmanoth CD (album) cover

HEILAGMANOTH

Dunwich

 

Prog Folk

3.94 | 11 ratings

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Ivan_Melgar_M
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Prog Specialist
5 stars A delightful mixture of genres and styles

A couple of months ago I found two DUNWICH albums on my favorite music store (A Prog fan in his late 50's who has a small stand on a third rate mall , but has the most unexpected material available or gets it for you in less than a week) two DUNWICH albums "Il Chiarore Surge Due Volte" and "Heilagmanoth".

Being that I knew the band was listed in RPI and because this guy sold them very cheap, got them expecting a band in the vein of PFM or BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO, probably good but most likely derivative, but thanks God I was wrong, DUNWICH is a box of surprises.

The already reviewed "Il Chiarore Surge Due Volte" is a Folk album with a clear Medieval - Renaissance atmosphere ,while "Heilagmanoth" is some sort of Gothic (Understood as the late Medieval Era, not as the cheesy Victorian revival) project melted with Industrial and Heavy Rock, somehow close to MIRANDA SEX GARDEN, with a touch of IRON MADEN and DEAD CAN DANCE but much more pompous.

Even before playing the music we can notice a huge difference, the band is no longer a trio but a quartet and the only original member remaining is Claudio Nigris, this really pissed me, because the most notable feature of the band was the outstanding voice of Katya Sanna, but again was surprised, because Francesca Elayne Naccarelli is at least as good as the original vocalist, the difference is that her range is a bit lower and with more capacity for the Heavy sections.

"Heilagmanoth" is opened by the weird "Aranmanoth", a 1:35 minutes intro full of haunting sounds, prayers and some sort of Gregorian Chants in the background, from the start we know this album is different to all the previous, and prepares us for the magnificent "La Casa dell' Alchimista", one of the most spectacular and ever changing songs I heard in years. As a fact we can listen extremely mysterious Gothic secular female vocals blended with male choirs, Baroque keyboards, a strong Industrial edge and of course pompous Symphonic Metal, wonderful piece of art, would make a fantastic soundtrack for a Dino de Laurentis film.

"Tales of the Ninth Wave" is a Celtic oriented ballad with a strong attitude, while Francesca and the flute create a delicate atmosphere, the keyboards, bass and percussion takes us into Metallic territory with Gregorian choirs, not as versatile as "La Casa..", but still very good.

The next song is "The Guardian of the Treshold", one of the most beautiful tracks of the album in which the voice of Francesca blends perfectly with a guitar in the vein of IRON MAIDEN (but softer) and precise drumming by Luca Iovieno who works as a human metronome, a nice contrast with the pompous and brilliant "Il Falso Principio", a song where Claudio Nigris is the star, playing one of the most varied and solid keyboard performances I heard in a long time.

"Beowulf" starts full of weird sounds until an organ solo takes us to the Baroque era while the vocals and choirs make an outstanding work leading the band towards a very heavy section that sounds almost as Symphonic Metal, incredibly, the song seems to continue in the following track "The Flying Fear" that adds the Metal elements with Medieval overtones creating an interesting counterbalance between opposite atmospheres. The rest is a fantastic mix of styles, genres and influences with heavy passages full of guitars in clear opposition with violins, flutes and mysterious voices, a path that is continued in the next two songs "Leaves on the Altars to the Moon" and "Terra di Ambra Neve e Fuoco Nero".

By the moment when we reach "La Lama il Ghiaccio e il Fuoco", the metallic element is the preeminent and the album is some sort of SYMPHONY X with operatic vocals, as if DUNWICH had already ended a ´progressive metamorphosis from XV Century toubadoresque music to Prog Metal, a fantastic voyage through five centuries of musical history done in fifty minutes. The last track "Heilagmanoth" is just a mysterious epilog created to finish the album in the same mood that started.

Already rated "Il Chiarore Surge Due Volte" with four stars, and being that "Heilagmanoth" is superior (Yes I love pompous music), leaves me no other alternative than giving five solid stars in this case.

Ivan_Melgar_M | 5/5 |

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