AIUMEEN BASOA - Iraganeko Bide Malkartsutik

Aiumeen Basoa - Iraganeko Bide Malkartsutik

6 songs
53:43 minutes
***** *****
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The unfamiliarly named Aiumeen Basoa is a pagan metal band from the Basque country. They started already back in 1994, but only released a first split-CD in 2001. Iraganeko Bide Malkartsutik, a true tongue twister if there ever was one, is their first longplayer coming nine years later. The band consists of seven musicians, with three of them sharing vocal duties. The typical metal instruments are joined by keyboards, accordion and violin.

The CD contains six songs that are all between six and eleven minutes long. Aiumeen Basoa are easily putting more ideas into each of their songs than other artists have for an entire album. The lyrics are in the Basque language, which sounds very exotic, considering the non-Indo-European nature of their tongue. The band resorts a lot to Basque folklore, that doesn’t sound too unlike Celtic music, but it still sounds highly original. The music itself could be labelled progressive or avant-garde metal, because the musicians are coming up with so many different genres that can only leave you speechless. The CD is full of contrasts, but the band still manages to make the transitions sound quite smoothly, so that despite the highly varied nature of the music, it still sounds like coming from a single band. I won’t go into telling you what happens in every single track, but can still give you some examples of what to hear on the CD. Quiet folk melodies are countered by symphonic black metal, majestic doom la Opeth, sweet female vocals, atmospheric gothic metal, flutes, jazz piano, Viking metal and much, much more. The mixed male and female vocals furthermore help to make things livelier.

I am simply amazed by the genius of this record. Although I am rather fond of folk metal, apart from Russian band Arkona, I haven’t been as fascinated by this genre as by this exceptional Basque band. Iraganeko Bide Malkartsutik is definitely already one of the best albums of the year.

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