Tierramystica – Heirs Of The Sun
Tierramystica – Heirs Of The Sun (2013)
Reviewed by Daniel Millard
Spirits be praised, a new Tierramystica is here! I’ve been waiting for another album from this band since shortly after the release of their debut A New Horizon Comes, for the simple fact that there’s not a metal band that sounds like them. The concept of power/folk metal has been tried many times, but rarely actualized. Put simply, most folks think that a little violin, a couple acoustic sections, and a little singing about Viking lore makes folk metal what it is. A lot of folks also haven’t a clue of how to categorize music, but I digress…
Tierramystica features instrumentation and themes that revolve around Andean history, including, among other cultures, Aztecs, Incans, and Mayans, as well as (to my knowledge) general myths tales. To supplement this lyricism, the talented Ricardo Chileno brings his multi-instrumental talents on the ocarina, charango, and more to the band, resulting in a very unique experience. Chileno also boasts a dynamic voice: from a tender tenor to a throaty roar of a voice that calls to mind countryman Daniel Felipe (of Lothloryen) at times. While hailing from Brazil and inevitably having received stylistic rub-off from the typical power metal of the region, Tierramystica has a strong individual identity. If I were to assess their sound concisely, it would be thus: Holy Land-era Angra with more and more pronounced indigenous instrumentation, less guitar, and a more powerful and varied lead vocalist.
Opener “Vision Of The Condor” is a properly bright South American power metal anthem with deliciously layered guitars, a stunning chorus, and placidly inimitable acoustic breaks. Fans of “heavy” ought to check out right away, but those with more patience and appreciation for grievously beautiful melody, calming pipes, and wildly rich and varied soundscapes need to appreciate this album as a whole – several times if possible!
The power metal stays strong early in the album. “Essence Of Pride” and “Myths Of Creation” both feature substantial bouts of ass-kicking balanced oh-so-pleasantly with those gorgeous pipes that I’m so taken with. The quick dynamic and tempo changes serve to keep Tierramystica’s sometimes long compositions fresh, as well as keeping listeners on their toes. In fact, there’s enough textural depth and songwriting complexity to entertain the more progressive power metal listener as well. As the album goes on, things mellow out a bit, but mid-paced stompers “Gate Of Gods (Hayu Marca)” and “The Rise Of The Feathered Serpent (Quetzacoatl)” are well-worth the listen.
Despite overstaying its welcome a bit on a few tracks (and I could see, for those less attached to the pan flute, thinking this runs together a bit), Heirs Of The Sun is bang on when it’s fast and heavy, and a soft, earthy delight when taking things slow. The result is a satisfying blend of power metal and folk music that surpasses the debut in every way. I recommend this album wholeheartedly to fans of culturally-influenced South American power metal (Angra’s “Holy Land” and other assorted tracks, and Brazilians Terra Nova come to mind as well), and anyone looking for an example of true power/folk fusion. Heirs Of The Sun is an enchanting album that could well prove to be timeless.
4.0 // 5