THE FORGOTTEN SONG
Release: April 9, 2019
Making its debut with the full length “The forgotten song” is Bulgarian atmospheric gothic metal band Aegonia. Formed in 2011 by Elitsa Stoyanova and Nikolay Nikolov, the band describes their music as fantasy metal with folklore influence. In support of this album the band released the music video for “The maid and the mountain”, and are now working on the video for the second single, “Samodiva”. Aegonia also performed alongside bands like The Foreshadowing, Antimatter and Charm Designer.
The mix of acoustic guitars, violin and ethereal female vocals with brutal metal guitars and male growling is the basis of their sound and while, on paper, it may seem familiar considering Tristania or the early stuff from Theater of Tragedy, the rich Bulgarian folk elements are what set Aegonia apart from them. The album may be melodic, and melancholic, and atmospheric, and metal, the point is all this has been done before to a certain degree, so the obvious question is whether Aegonia is at least equally good if not better?
In the land of Aegonia
Rain of tears
With the mists she came
Dreams come to me
Battles lost and won
The stolen song
The severe mountain
A bitter fate
The ruins of Aegonia
Considering that most of the clichés of the genre are present, you can expect a dramatic atmosphere cut at times by growls, and at other times by female (or male) clean vocals, and heavy guitars to give the songs a metal edge, as in the doomy “Restless mind” or the anthemic “Battles lost and won”. However, the album overall has a charm of its own, thanks to the beautiful sounds of the kaval (traditional Bulgarian flute), violin and bagpipes that really give off a certain fantasy vibe, like in the acoustic piece “The stolen song” or in the Celtic track “The maid and the mountain”. So in a way this mix is the best of both worlds as it offers variation and diversity, both on the album as well as on same song. Case in point “Gone” or “A bitter fate”.
In between these songs, the album offers some mellow moments like “Rain of tears” or the symphonic-infused number “With the mists she came” making for a nice build-up to the start of the album, which comes to a boiling point in “Restless mind” with harsh vocals and a more present guitar melody. After a short interlude, “Dreams come to me”, the album showcases its gothic metal side with the aforementioned “Battles lost and won” and “The offering” before diving back into folk territory with “The stolen song”. The flow and change of moods work so well, making the listener feel like in a gothic romance. Also, I love the fact that the album is not overly atmospheric, nor overly metal, instead there is a neat balance between the two, though, as pointed above, some songs tend to be more folky, others more ambiental, and others more metal, which makes the listener more entertained and engaged. Though a change of tempo would not hurt the experience.
All in all, Aegonia delivered a not-so-heavy, but well-crafted atmospheric metal album, that seamlessly combines a range of influences in a coherent 70 minutes of melancholy music. It’s a strong debut album that promises greater things to come for this band.
Rating: 8 / 10
Nikolay Nikolov – vocals, guitar, kaval
Elitsa Stoyanova – vocals, violin
Atanas Georgiev – bass
Ivan Kolev – drums