01 Intro - Evolution
02 Through The Market Square
07 My Dearest
08 On Powdered Wings
12 Paso Del Sol
13 Conquer It All
15 The Fallen
Do you know that feeling that something seems to fit, but at the same time is really awkward? It’s exactly that feeling I had when listening to Djilia Phralengo. The first song, the intro, sounds like it’s going to introduce a big orchestra, with all kinds of big bangs and stuff. You know, a massive orchestra. And then there it is, an electric guitar. Any power metal or heavy metal fan reading this? Probably not, but they’d love this kind of guitar play for sure.
So, who is Djilia Phralengo, and how come someone with such an exotic name comes from the USA. Well, to make it even more complicated, Djilia Phralengo is the artist name of the man behind this project. Ernesto Villarreal plays most instruments, all sorts of string instruments. Like I said, an electric guitar, but also a banjo (at least, there’s a ‘bajo’ in the booklet) and a flamenco guitar.
I am puzzled whether I’m right or wrong about saying Djilia Phralengo comes from the USA. Sure, the release is recorded, mastered and designed in USA, most (if not all) live dates are in USA, but why oh why are the music instruments in some European language then? Sure ‘djembe y percussiones varias’ means ‘djembe and various percussion’, but why in this language? But hey, I do like a little bit of mystery and I can’t say I dislike it, but I do wonder.
The music Djilia Phralengo plays is very enjoyable. It’s a mixture of a lot of plucked string instruments together with some light percussion. An array of more or less danceable songs has it’s place on this very fine release. Those most of the songs are completely instrumental, except for two, ‘Conquer It All’ and ‘The Fallen’.
Those two songs seem to be like a final blast, being shoved so far back onto the release. The way ‘Conquer It All’ is song, made me think I already knew this song. But I couldn’t recall, even though I tried really hard remembering it. I couldn’t understand what it was, until I tuned it up again, waited for the very first line of lyrics, and stopped the song. I repeated it in my head over and over again. Then I knew it. It wasn’t the song I knew, it was the way it was sung. That’s why every second line was awkward. The song it reminded me of was nothing less than Ostara’s ‘Proud Black Templar’. It’s not entirely the same, but there’s enough similarity for me.
‘Conquer It All’ also is the longest song on this release, with a nice total of over seven and a half minute. Most instrumental songs don’t even reach the three minute mark, except for two ones. I do wonder, why aren’t there more songs with vocals? Ernesto’s voice is just beautiful. I’d like to recommend him to record more music including his voice. If it’s his, that is. It’s not really clear, but I do think it’s his.
Folk purists probably probably won’t like this, as there’s too much electric guitar play in it, but I certainly do like it. It’s good to have something that’s not like everything else. There’s a wonderful gypsy touch to the music, merged with the present day electric guitar. Neogypsy anyone? Now, who would like to dance to ‘Duelo’ with me?