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Evenoire - Herons

Evenoire - CD Review


Evenoire - Herons



Scarlet Records
10 tracks
English lyrics


One of the fun things about writing for Sonic Cathedral is that we only write about what we want to write about.  There are no formal assignments.  You don’t like it, you don’t write about it.  Consequently, I tend to write about first releases almost exclusively.  Their second release goes to someone else.  But, there are a few sounds I tend to follow.  I do pretty much all the Therion stuff, I own Blackthorn and Six Magics, Hugo and Factory of Dreams tend to go my way.  A few others, but not many.  But Evenoire fell into my lap a few years ago, back when Lisy Stefanoni went by the name Elisa.  And I haven’t let this one slip away.  I wrote up their first EP, I Will Stay, and commented, “One hopes this band will find success, and that we will have a far fuller catalog to explore in the near future”.  Fortunately, that has happened.  This is their second full release and it’s a solid progression, nothing but better and better.  Lisy has gone from a young woman with a big voice to a woman with a big voice and the music has grown just like the lady.  And it hasn’t gone unnoticed by the powers that be. Lisy was at MFVF 10 and their music has made an impression, the entire band will be there next year and pretty much everyone knows about them at this point.  They’re a power in the Femme Metal community, and for good reason.  I didn’t her at 10 but I’ll be there for 12, and I’m really looking forward to seeing Lisy and the band for the first time.  And they’ll have the music from this release to perform, and that’s a damn good thing, this stuff is killer. 

You know, there’s a lot of bands that can perform great music. Great musicians, solid vocals, a fine presentation style. But not all of them can write music. When they can’t, the do covers. And some of that is great material, we all love to hear guys who can do Nightwish covers, some of us like the dudes who can do Lynyrd Skynyrd covers. I have a personal interest in that stuff, but that’s another story. However, the bands that tend to hit it big can do the music at the top of the category, and they write their own. That’s another skill set completely. And Lisy and the boys are as good at writing material as they are at recording it. This release is just full of solid musical and lyrical material. And, beyond that, it’s presented by a first class band with an over the top vocalist. Kind of hard to beat that. But, even that list of capabilities can be enhanced by production and mixing folks, and we find talent in that arena here as well, this is just an outstanding production in every area that we’re interested in.

It’s sometimes interesting and revealing to get the artist’s impression of a new release, get some thoughts from the inside so to speak. Just in case the thoughts of ne’er-do-wells and scofflaws like yours truly are off the mark for one reason or another. So, I hit Lisy up with the question, her response: “This album sounds more powerful for me, and my voice is more aggressive...lyrics are about legend of North of Italy, but Vitriol was about water, this one is about fire, and red is the new color. Heron is our totem, it is a bird you can find in my countryside next to rivers, I really like this animal, it is connected with sun energy and rebirth.” And there is that connection to the previous release which also addressed topics from the area Lisy calls home. But yes, this one is a bit more aggressive, both the vocals and the music in general. You hear that with the more aggressive guitar work and the pounding drums. They seem to be more anxious to tell their tales here, more absorbed in the treatment.

Herons starts out with a short introductory track that seems to build on that statement Lisy made earlier. It’s a guitar based opening, as opposed to the more traditional symphonic. But, we get something else that Evenoire is famous for, Lisy on the flute. And she has that stuff down, it’s a fine introduction:

Herons watch over seasons going by / Waters run through fields of death and life
Stolid keepers of blemished souls

By the river they listen to the wind / Secret calls, ancient memories
Hernons fly towards burning skies

And those burning skies appear in the second track, Drops of Amber, a track inspired by the Greek myth of Phaethon, at a place called Crespino (Rovigo) near Veneto, Italy. Here’s where the band shows us that harder bent they have been talking about. This one has a focus on guitars and drums far beyond what most of the previous material presented. The vocals, as well, seem more intense as they convey a story of Gothic lore. Lisy sings again of the herons, and here they are asked to

guide you / to the whispers of the dead

One of the things that I loved most about the previous full release was the inclusion of a top flight guest female vocalist. On Vitroil, that guest was the lovely Gaby Koss, one of the queens of this style of music. On this release, we are entertained by Therion vocalist Linnea Vikstrom who joins Lisy for a killer duet. The track is Tears of Medusa. I asked Lisy how the association came about. She replied: “I met Linnea last december, I was on European tour with another band, Sound Storm together with Therion and Arkona, we toured all over Europe with 15 dates, it was great! So I asked Linnea to duet with me on our album of Evenoire.” Medusa, which is, of course, inspired by the Greek legend of Medusa, is a rocker. You get two solid femme metal vocals over a pounding metal, some solid utilization of the flute where appropriate, and a lyric that again takes us to a historic interpretation of the Gothic:

Don’t look at me / I’d drive you to death
Halted heartbeat / prisoners of pain
Tears of Medusa / Empty emotions
lack of sentiment / Tears of Medusa

One of the things you tend to get with Evenoire is a bit o’ the Green. There was a lot of it in the previous releases. Here, you get When the Sun Sets. The band allows that this was inspired by the legend of one King Ortnit from somewhere around Veneto, Italy. And the story line seems to take this direction, even if the music takes us to places just slightly west of Wales, especially that haunting flute. But the story is one of blood and destruction, revenge and dragons who

sucked his blood and stole his soul / flew up and dived into Garda lake
where the Mount reflects water turns to red

Wild Females is another Irish sounding track. This one begins with an acoustic sound, followed by the flute and then moving towards a more metal sound. But, that Irish sound continues at some level, they just seem to like this approach, even if the song is described as “Inspired by legendary female creatures of Italian folklore: Giubiana, Krivapeta, Borda, Santa Lucia, Anguana, Salamandra”. Ah well, details.

Herons is certainly the strongest yet from Lisy and the boys. . . and girls. They just seem to continue to progress. And my hopes of “ a far fuller catalog to explore in the near future” seems to be coming true. I’ll let you know next November, I’ve scheduled some time with Lisy at Oktoberhallen in Belgium, and I’m looking forward to it. Maybe with Linnea too.