I know what you are thinking: Something went very wrong with the spell-check when I wrote the headline...
The Basque language is one of the oldest in the world, and completely unlike almost anything else. It is the last remaining pre-indo-European language in the western world. This album is in Basque.
Now, I really like when bands pull stunts like this. It broadens my horizon, so to speak. But I think Aiumeen Basoa (AB) should take it further...
Folk metal, as a genre, survive on cultural heritage. Good folk metal is a dive into the ancestral history of a given people. The lyrics are about the folklore, the music is based on original folk songs, etc., exactly as we have heard since Storm first made Norwegian fairy-tales into ice-cold pagan black-inspired folk-rock.
Storm had a genuine Norwegian feel to it, just like Turisas has a Finnish feel, Arkona a Russian one, Al-Namrood a Arabian, Ego Fall has a Chinese feel, the list goes on... Why is it then, that AB does not have some sort of unique trademark? Something that would define the music as Basque.
What they do have is some of most disciplined musicians I have heard. This is extremely well-played, both the classical instruments and the traditional metal-weaponry. But they lack inspiration and they definitely lack structure.
The songs are what some would call "progressive" and what I call "disorientating". The listener is utterly bombarded by constant changes in rhythm, melody, singing styles and moods, in songs that are ten minutes long on average. You will reach the fourth song of the album before anything remotely verse-chorus-verse-like shows up. Maybe that is the touch of Basque I called for... Anyway, I am not into it.
AB gets the high grades for their mastery of the instruments, although sadly it is a purely technical form of virtuosity.