Review Summary: Gallantly riding to the North whereupon we shall face the demons that have destroyed the Wall, which protects the Seven Kingdoms and most importantly, Winterfell! We ride today!
Ever since the conception of famous acts and their spectacular debuts from Helloween, Blind Guardian or even, dare I say, Dragonforce (just a joke), there has always been a wave of new forms of fantasy-based themes. Stratovarius focused on space more so than their counterparts, Avantasia focused on Metal Operas, Rhapsody (of Fire) focused on something they created, and the list keeps going on and on. It is no surprise either with the success of the genre; memorable melodies, sing-along choruses, and blazing fast solos made the power metal genre what it is today. What is most bold of all is the new stylistic approach to the ever-expanding fantasy themed genre: an instrumental album out of all things; Finnish wankery out of all things too! In addition, if you happen to be familiar in the slightest with the Finnish power metal scene, then you know that there is going to be many, many keyboard solos in the style of Jens Johansson as well as neo-classical guitar shredding.
Tiluland may seem just like another boring old power metal band that has zero of a chance to make it within the top tier of power, and instead stay in the dark corners of the internet to never be found again. The only problem with Tiluland’s success is if people come across them and label them without listening. At the very begging of the album we see a standard intro that has a non-surprising characteristic that many bands like to incorporate; the use of an “Epic” symphony of sorts. However, that’s still not a legitimate excuse to stop listening. In the very first seconds of “Tilu of the Kings” we hear what appears to be a Dragonforce-esque melodic guitar riff, but there’s a catch: the opening section is slow enough to keep up with (because we all know Dragonforce speed can be extremely annoying). Incase this may seem fishy and a possible turnoff from the Dragonforce comparison. Have no fear, you’ll be as surprised as I was at first; you’ll be amazed and be tickled in the slightest and actually want to keep listening just to see how the song turns out till the end, because it seems too good to be true.
If and when you can survive the “Tilu of the Kings” and proceed to the others soon realize (if you haven’t already) there are no vocal parts at all during the close to 40 minute duration of the album. As a listener, you’ll soon realize that the two members of the band, Gimi and Arwe, focus on tone and melody rather than speed and pure shred. With that said, there are various uses of folkie acoustic guitar passages that are incorporated for rhythm and lead, classical piano, and the typical electric guitar and electric keyboards from Gimi and Arwe when you least expect it.
As a conclusion, there’s really not much to say for individual songs for this album, because all it is an instrumental album that features musical characteristics that have been cherry-picked from bands like Dragonforce, Stratovarius, Wintersun, etc… However, Tilualnd isn’t exactly an average band, let alone possibly creating an average debut? Instead the two talented members of Tiluland showcase superb musicianship, a stellar debut that will be replayed quite a bit from a lot of people, that is, if people give them the chance they rightfully deserve.
Disclaimer: your best bet for an enjoyable listen is probably during a drive on the interstate or when you’re playing Skyrim, or after a good *** and you feel like a ***ing hero!