Echo of Dalriada - Jegbonto 5/5

Reviewed: 9-29-06





Tracklist:

1. Rianas
2. Arpadhazi margit balladaja
3. Galamb
4. Vedj meg, lang! - pt. l
5. Teli enek
6. Virraszto
7. Igaz hittel
8. Hajnalunnep
9. Dregel
10. Szondi ket aprodja - pt. l
11. Jegbonto


Few CDs grab you from the opening moments of the first spin and hold your ears tightly from that point on. Echo of Dalriada's 2nd CD 'Jegbonto' has had this affect on me and it's been a while since this has happened. So who exactly is this unknown band you ask? Well, Dalriada was a kingdom (of the scotti) who eventually gave their name to Scottland. The band is from Hungary and both their debut 'Fergeteg' as well as 'Jegbonto' are sung in their native tongue. Though I own both CDs, 'Fergeteg' has not grabbed me like 'Jegbonto' and I've found the latter to be lightyears ahead in quality and even the style is different between CDs.

'Fergeteg', the debut, can be described as a blend of folk metal, power metal and gothic metal and contains slow, mid-paced and fast-paced songs. Folk metal is probably the style most present, but I can easily hear all styles. Vocally, the voice of female vocalist Laura Binder (who also handles the flute) dominates, but there are also male vocals, sometimes in line with Hansi Kursch of Blind Guardian/Demons & Wizards, and other times are typical of a death metal vocalist. But although the band is (mostly) female fronted and surely labeled folk metal, the popular (and excellent) band Almora doesn't immediately come to mind, as Laura avoids the soprano and instead has a voice with a unique but amazing tone that fits the genre perfectly.

With the awesome 'Jegbonto', the vocals remain the same but the band has shed the gothic metal tag to a great degree and there is not near as much of a song variety. The songs are full of speed, with somewhat raw but extremely powerful guitar work that doesn't let up as the phenominal melodies embed themselves in my head. The style of 'Jegbonto' is the ultimate blend of power metal and folk metal with some occasional keyboards and just a few passages into gothic metal and death metal. To give you an even more detailed idea of their sound, we must throw 3 bands into a blender: long-time power metallers Blind Guardian (90s era) needs to be the first in. Then, Elvenking and their fresh appeal is added. Finally, the unpopular Sunterra (who's debut 'Lost time' is a furious blend of power metal and gothic metal with tons of speed, all highlighted by a wonderful flute) provides the final touch.

With exception of the short instrumental intro "Rianas" and calming outro "Jegbonto" (also only instrumental), the CD slaughters with one fast and thundering song after another! Every song is aggresive yet melodic, and I especially like track 7 "Igaz hittel" and the flute-dominating track 9 "Dregel", which is nothing short of magnificent. There are no ballads, no weaknesses, and everything is kicked into an ultra-high gear! Sometimes a band's popularity (or lack of) doesn't reflect the true quality of their CD(s) and Echo of Dalriada's 'Jegbonto' is a great example.



CLINT




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