Liholesie - Fables
Self released
Ethno ambient
3 songs (20'50")
Release year: 2018
Reviewed by Alex
Surprise of the month

Russian word Liholesie translates roughly as “evil forest”, and with his latest EP Fables one man Valentin Agapov goes for a self-described ethno-ambient angle, which is actually a new descriptive term for this style of music for me. Earlier on in the band’s biography, Liholesie is said to have had more blackened tendencies, but it is very obvious with Fables Valentin is not concerned with anything truly evil or representing the left hand path.

With this EP Valentin instead chose to explore native Siberian, specifically Altai, music. What you will notice right when Pine Cone starts is the beautiful flow Liholesie demonstrates on Fables. With flute leading the way across lush background, with tribal and then wooden spoon percussion keeping rhythm, mouthharp providing pings, you absolutely get a feeling of walking in the forest, with some friendly animals hiding in the bush. Most interesting, and an absolute testament to Liholesie quality, is the nature of the songwriting. Something that could have been static and boring has none of those attributes. Developing melody and a definite climax characterizes Pine Cone.

Liholesie is not stuck in one mood on Fables either. On the Shore, with its opening bells, has a much more ominous feeling than Pine Cone. There is even something funeral about On the Shore, even birds are heard leaving, perhaps only Siberian taiga, a formidable forest, remaining behind. Some native wooden instrument is hoping to provide an escape, but that hope is probably futile. North is dominated by some ancient chord progression, more ethnic in its melodic disposition than the other two tracks, and that is probably how these Fables are needed to be told, set to an acoustic strum. Devoid of vocals throughout, Fables don’t need lyrics, the quality of the instrumentals here tells all.

Fitting as an interlude on an Arkona album, Fables can also appeal to the fans of Summoning, or those who liked the dark nature of Kauan on Sorni Nai.

Killing Songs :
Pine Cone
Alex quoted 86 / 100
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