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Laura's Simp - 98%

ChildClownOutlet, November 24th, 2021

I love this band. I love every album. I love Laura Binder's voice. I wish I could end the review with that but that's pretty much impossible. So I'll have to gush a little bit more because this is amazing. The earlier albums from Dalriada aka Echo of Dalriada are a little bit different compared to their later but still wonderful work. Whereas their newest stuff tended to go full on folk, their earlier albums were more guitar and key oriented which I enjoyed much more than the violins constantly shoved in. Don't get me wrong, I love folk instruments, but I always prefer the folky melodic riffs which this album encompasses. "Jegbonto" which is my google translate is correct, translates to "Ice Breaker, and looking at the cover of the album you'd think that this was going to be an snowy/icy sort of album. That already elevates the album because I adore songs with that wintery atmosphere so thankfully I was already hooked from the get go.

Let's get some of the cons out of the way. The production is muffly and muddy. It never really bothered me that much because in all honesty I think it kind of fits, but even from the first song, "Árpádházi Margit balladája" you can tell there are some issues. That's pretty much the only negative I can elaborate on because as soon as you hear that piano from aforementioned song you're in for a ride through the winterylandscape. The riffs are just so pleasing to the ear and when you get to Laura's vocals with the piano twinkling in the background, all you have to do is close your eyes and lay back. Laura's voice is just a low baritone and some people think she's monotone but they're completely wrong. It's a sweet spot sort of voice, deep and powerful but she also can sing in the higher register as in the almost death metal song "Galamb," with the back and forth vocals between her and secondary vocalist András Ficzek, who does the growls and also sings cleans alongside Laura. His clean vocals takes some getting used as it's sort of gravely and but honestly I think it's a welcome choice to have him counterbalance Laura's crooning.

The album really has something for everyone. As I mentioned before, "Galamb" is their most death metal like song; an almost Beauty and the Beast sort of inspired song with the cleans of Laura and growls of Andras. "Teli Enek" is the single of the album with a video released; a good choice because it's probably the catchiest of the album. The flute that plays in the intro tells you exactly what you're going to get from the video of the song, a showcase of Laura's gorgeous voice and one of the catchiest choruses of all time. Even if you don't speak the language, you'll definitely sing along to it while imagining your walking in the forest. "Igaz Hittel" is the darkest song of the album and my personal favorite. At the halfway point in the song it suddenly switches to a sort of doom metal sort of feeling where the guitars suddenly play a downtuned dark riff then bursts out with the death growls and double bass drumming before Laura comes back in with a very upbeat verse. And then it happens, it throws one of the greatest keyboard melodies I have ever heard. I am dead serious when I tell you how many times I replay this moment and get chills when I hear those keys. Just stunning. "Védj Meg, Láng! - 1. rész" is one of their fastest paced songs with a triumphant sounding riff that just drives through along with that chorus where it seems like the whole band decided to lend their voices to and also throws in a folky sort of riff that makes you want to dance and jig. Of course there's also a nice piano interlude(Did I tell you how much I love the way this band uses the keys?) before the chorus pops back up. A highly underrated gem.

The holidays are here so don't ignore this album. Listen to this while you're driving in the snow to work, or better yet while you're at home with a cup of hot cocoa sitting in a comfy spot by the fire. Let Laura's warm vocals soothe your heart, and let the melodic riffs hook you in. This is THE album for folk metal lovers.