Two years ago I met The Dolmen for the first time at Trolls et Légèndes in Mons where they blew the roof of the venue with their music. I reviewed their previous album Nuada at that time and had the privilege to interview them and very much enjoyed talking to them. For all these reasons I could not let their latest album pass me by.
Taloch takes us on a ghostly journey. Drenched in melancholia and magic. Just have a listen to the first track; Wytches & Cunningfolk where the bluesy folk comes totally into its own. Talochs vocals are raw and passionate, like a magician marked by life who tells his stories through his songs. The electric guitar sounds magnificent and merges beautifully with the acoustic guitar and the fiddle. Just add to that the exquisite female vocals by Kayleigh. For a moment I had to think of a track of David Bowie, Yassasin. Then when the song draws to an end the epic guitar solo of Josh lifts us to different realms and leaves us yearning for more. A bit of news that supporters of the band should know and you’ll hear it at the first notes of the next track. Sebastiaan Hidding, Dutch fiddle player from Groningen and long-time friend of the band , who occasionally joined the band on the stage since 2011 is now a full time The Dolmen member. On Blood of the Ancients he leaves his mark on the track right from the beginning. Calmly, melancholy, gazing back enjoying a good glass of brandy or whisky it will take you to the times of old. In the third track Tinker Boy the accordion is introduced, played by drummer ChrisHarris and that makes the Gypsy/Traveler atmosphere very prominent. It weaves the story of sitting around the campfire listening to the mischievous adventures told by the Tinker Boy. With the next track Going Solo, the partying seems to start, which is what the band is best known for on the stages in Europe and they are the better in that genre. Put the chairs to the side of the room and party along. Landerlay brings out the spell casting shaman in Taloch. No More Love is another uplifting, foot stomping track. You will be taken on a journey to the days of old, to a Gypsy/Travelers party to participate in passionate dancing and listen to the singer confessing his truth full of passion and sorrow to a listening audience. What a fantastic track! In Wolf Von Bones a bit of keyboards is added, and again the fiddle plays an important part in the track which underlines the Gypsy/Traveler vibes. There is a story told in the song, the story of Wolf, a story worth listening to. Later on the song whips you into a frenzy and you feel the vibes of their live shows. Black is the Colour is a catching track, calmy sung and with a full measure of melancholia and with a minimum of added instruments Taloch charms you with his raw and heart tearing voice. Anja’s flute solo is exquisite and very heart tearing. This track will silence everyone, I am quite sure about that! Maybe one or the other might even blink away a tear. Magnificent! Fact is that this is one of the highlights on this already cracking album. In Chambers of my Mind the rock vibes take over and that shows again their diverse professionality in whatever genre they take on. In this track Kayleigh adds her vocal powers to the album and she does that in an outstanding way. Sinless Puritan sounds fiery, as if Lucifer himself influenced the singer. The fiddle and keyboard determine the sound here, and of course the haunting vocals. Only You concludes the album with a huge dose of melancholia, sorrow, yearning for a lost love….. the guitar adds a bluesy vibe while Taloch gives his all. It is again breathtakingly beautiful how that voice can reach into the depths of your heart and soul. At the conclusion of Only You the guitar soars and lifts you to even higher realms, one last blast of power before the album draws to an end.
The Dolmen have nailed it again! Their new album is crammed with fantastic tracks and gives us quite a bit of diversity. I have thoroughly enjoyed listening to it. C U on stage!