Progressive and alternative rock band On Ithenfal’s Wing include doom, Goth and metal qualities to their sound. The project hailing from Florida, USA, have two concept albums Key to Then and A Fine Light Snow available for streaming and download on major platforms online. On Ithenfal’s Wing are masters at throwing out super dense chunks of complex and epic sonics that take weeks of repeated listens to completely unravel, and I believe they have done it again on “Key To Then”, a concept album that concerns itself with a journey through time. Leaving you to guess the period.
“Key To Then” is something very special in the underground, in my opinion this is modern prog taken to a whole new level. It’s all at once sinister, beautiful, complex, lush, dark, hypnotic, and so grand in musical scope that I don’t know how they will follow this up – even though they already have, to be honest.
There’s so much here that is both familiar and new but presented with jaw dropping skill. I’m not going to toss out personal favorites here, as I think this is an album which should really be experienced from start to finish, don’t question it, and just download this album. Listen to it several times and really take the time to absorb every note of this recording, it’s an absorbing musical experience.
On Ithenfal’s Wing are storytellers, minstrels, troubadours, daring instrumentalists and savvy technicians, who put together a potpourri of sometimes eerie somber backdrops, and at others, bone crushing, overdriven motifs. Sometimes you’ll find this formula all wrapped up into one song.
It takes a few listens to let it soak in, but once it hits you, you can’t let go. The singing is dramatic and almost operatic in its delivery, the song structures are intricate and far removed from your usual pop-rock verse-chorus-verse fare. On Ithenfal’s Wing spin elaborate narratives and bathe them in dynamic sounds.
Opening with the dark and ominous “Once Beneath a Peaceful Moon”, whether or not you appreciate this melodramatic sound, from beginning to end, the intriguing songwriting makes for a fascinating experience. Throughout the recording, On Ithenfal’s Wing is bold with its music, as is presents a brilliant range of captivating tracks.
From “Awakened”, to “Chained Master”, and “Between The Shore And The Fog”, there is something to really adore in the band’s sonic vision. Whether it is the ever-changing vocal cadences, or the soft-loud arrangements. Among the abrasive riffs, and building rhythms, there are also instances of bursting melody.
Instrumentally, “Key To Then” is a true delight. When it comes to compositional variety, the album is a nonstop rush of surprises. “Through The Black Thorn of Brethil”, “The Last of the Istari” and “Dark Vast Woods” contain fascinating structures, the instrumentation unfurling and exploding into various blends of serenity and wild energy.
Throughout the album, one can hear and feel passion; not only does the songwriting offer fascinating compositions, but the band sounds amazing. On Ithenfal’s Wing chemistry feels as tight as it is expansive, as heartfelt as it is engaging, as they explore a plethora of intriguing and majestic sounds. On “Bugbear”, “A Haunting Farewell” and the title track, “Key To Then”, the instrumentation and vocals, continue to serve emotion and instrumental wonder.
What’s evident from early on, is just how layered and heavy this album is. It is dense, involved and occasionally challenging. The production leaves no stone unturned in terms of leveled, carefully-layered arrangements. Moments, when solos or vocals are meant to shine, integrate beautifully and smoothly. This record gets better with every listen because it commands undivided attention.
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