Evenoire – Vitriol
Styling themselves as Gothic folk metal, Italian metalers Evenoire are on the verge of releasing their first full-length CD on March 26 (Europe) and April 10 (North America). Their debut appearance was a four-track EP entitled I Will Stay that came out at the end of 2008. They did a bit of touring, some live shows, and some TV appearances, and for Vitriol, they managed to score a record deal with Scarlet Records.
Stating on their Facebook page that they’ve been influenced by names such as Opeth, Within Temptation, and folk rockers Blackmore’s night, listening to Vitriol brings to mind a veritable smorgasbord of folk sounds and influences.
The short story is that this is an outstanding album replete with rich metal riffs, beautiful folk elements, and a host of elements from all kinds of metal sub-genres, including symphonic metal, Gothic metal, medieval/Renaissance metal, and even – just a touch! – of pagan metal, which I’ll explain a little later.
The vocals, performed by Lisy Stephanoni, are powerful and this young woman definitely has some great pipes. And she’s classically trained, wouldn’t you know, having studied opera and the whole nine yards. She’s also a trained and accomplished flutist, and you can hear her flute performances throughout the CD. Funnily enough, this is the second album I’ve reviewed in a row where the lead singer is also a flutist. But what other folk-ish/sort of metal band heavily features the flute? I’m thinking Turkey. I’m thinking Bilge Kocaarslan. I’m thinking Almora. There are shades of Almora throughout this CD (at least to my hearing) and being a huge fan of that band, I thought it was great to hear.
The songs on Vitriol pertain mainly to Italian folk and historical themes. For instance, “Days of the Blackbird” is about a legend about the Po River in Cremona, Italy. Some lyrics have been provided:
January covered the river
With an icy dress made of silver
Wedding times have gone
They have to return home to the other side
Standing by Po river
in the coldest winter days
you will hear the blackbird
look out because you won’t be alone
Indeed, “Days of the Blackbird” is one of the strongest songs on the album, but this album is full of strong songs. “Forever Gone” is another standout, sporting a prog-ish air and some galloping symphonic sections, along with a slight medieval vibe.
But by far the strongest song on the album, in my opinion, is “Minstrel of the Dolomites.” This song has it all going on folk-wise. In it I hear all kinds of influences mixed together, from the acoustic sections reminiscent of Blackmore’s Night, and even some sections that remind me of pagan metal powerhouse from Russia, Arkona. And I hear Almora again in here. This song is a great metal rollick!
Another notable song is “Misleading Paradise”. Featuring not only Lisy on the flute again, but also Gaby Koss, most notably of Haggard, doing a duet with Lisy. It has a lot of haunting qualities to it in terms of the harmonies and atmosphere. This song is heavy, riffy, symphonic, progressive, and another real feast for the ears.
Evenoire is definitely a band to watch out for in the future, and I hope Vitriol launches them into the big times, because this is a very strong, mature album with a lot of excellent writing and complexity.
Allyson’s rating: 4.5/5.