Evenoire – Herons
Evenoire – Herons (2014)
Reviewed by Allyson Kenning
Italy’s Evenoire is on the verge of unleashing its second full-length album upon the world, a record entitled Herons, and the follow-up to 2012’s Vitriol. I reviewed Vitriol for Black Wind back upon its release date, and was very impressed by it. I had high hopes for this sophomore release, and I can tell you that not only was I very impressed by it, I nearly had my socks knocked off by it.
Replete with Gothic, symphonic, and folk elements, this is one bombastic trip you’ll want to take with a young band that is showing its talent, energy, and maturity in a big way with Herons. This is a very big step forward for Evenoire, as Herons shows off every band members’ musical talent with crisp riffing, powerful drumming, and the very large and evocative vocals of singer Lisy Stefanoni – who also plays the flute throughout the album. Signed with Scarlet Records, Herons has wormed its way into regular play for me, and quickly crept into “favorites of the year” territory on my list, which admittedly doesn’t have a lot of other records occupying positions at the moment.
Starting off softly with a flute solo accompanied by some acoustic guitar, the introductory and title track features Lisy singing a gentle prelude before we get get blasted with the bombast I was referring to earlier with “Drops of Amber”, which is the first single off the album. Lisy, who spent some time touring around Europe as a guest vocalist with fellow Italians Sound Storm, totally lets go of her gentler side and starts belting in an almost shocking manner – at least I was more than slightly taken aback with her sudden vocal velocity that was not apparent on Vitriol. On this album, however, Lisy never lets go of that power and aggression, but does mix it up with softer, more emotive stuff as well as some great higher register moments. It’s a vocal tour-de-force, and it’s brilliant to listen to. “Season of Decay” is a great example of what I’m talking about; this third track on the album has all the vocal delights I have mentioned, and musically it’s mixes the symphonic and gothic elements up well, too.
Other strong tracks on an album full of them is “The Newborn Spring”, which has a definite folk-ish flare and a very catchy melody and chorus – and it’s about the coming of spring, something we can all appreciate right about now, I’d think. I also love “When The Sun Sets” which is even more folky with it’s lilting vocal lines and some beautiful flute work. “Tears of Medusa” features Linnéa Vikström of Therion, whom Evenoire toured with in 2013, and is another favorite of mine. “Wild Females” is perhaps the most interesting and hooky of all the songs, however, and it’s possibly the best on the album.
I have to admit I love the flute in metal music (I used to play the flute, actually), so this element of Evenoire’s music makes this album extra appealing for me, and Lisy needs to be commended for doing some pretty nifty work with her instrument throughout Herons. Guitarists Alessandro Gervasi and Toshiro Brunelli also impress. As an album, Herons is tight and complex, and the songwriting is solid. There is no filler.
Evenoire is definitely poised for some big stuff. Having toured with both Arkona and Therion, and having played at local venues and festivals regularly, this is a hardworking band that deserves a lot of credit for their efforts and successes. Herons is a fantastic follow-up to a great album, and I wish this band all the best in its upcoming endeavors.
4.25 // 5