Musical Zone Japan

    By: David Purdie
    Grade: 910/1000

I don't know exactly how Waerloga Records always find these perfect acts? Aardia is a Swedish act consisting of three composers inspired by a book not yet published. I can only imagine how good that book must be. For each individual track and musical theme, Aardia sort of cover a chapter in the book. The artwork is fine and the CD comes in a neat digipack, perfectly reflecting the mystical atmosphere of the album.

The composers live in the northern parts of Sweden which is one of the most dark places in the world. The winters are long and the nature is vast and beautiful. Both the beauty and the darkness can be heard on Conquest of The Ancient Halls.

The music is very likeable and has several dramatic moments as well as soft ones. Piano and symphonic orchestrations are accompanied by enchanting yet malicious dark brooding sounds from the deep and voices which float in the background. The 8 tracks balance the serene and the dynamic, creating a great atmosphere that is perfectly suiting for their theme. The Conquest deliver the most dramatic impact but Legion of Darkness is the best track. I am truly amazed, but not surprised to read that Simon Kölle (Za Frûmi, Abnocto, Musterion, film composer) mixed and master this astonishing debut. He's done a fantastic job as the sound and richness of it is masterful.

If you're into the music and genre that Waerloga Records represents (dark fantasy) then you should already know what to except just by observing the title and cover art of the band Aardia's debut CD, Conquest of The Ancient Halls. This CD truly opens the gates of the world of Tolkien-like arts, allowing glimpses of a spellbinding nocturnal realm.

Listening to this CD, you will enter the domain of shadows, feel the effect great fantasy can have on you and in this case also the dark energies, and travel to mysterious realms of existence!

In my humble opinion I think that Conquest of The Ancient Halls is one of the best debuts in this genre and it could easily stand as this year's jewel of the year 2011!