Gliding into the metal scene with grace and beauty is German band Flame, Dear Flame with their debut album Aegis. The band can be labeled as doom metal but holds strong influence from folk music and hard rock. Containing stellar riffs, atmospheric sounds of nature, acoustic guitar, and enchanting clean vocals, Aegis brings something a little different and magical. The album is comprised of two suites; “The Millennial Heartbeat” and “The Wolves and the Priorless.” Each movement stands on its own as a solid song but are best heard together to experience the complete story told in Aegis and the full effect of what Flame, Dear Flame has to offer.
Maren Lemke’s beautiful siren-like vocals are heard in each piece and tell the story of “a feral child that falls into the custody of a sage prioress.” Suite “The Millennial Heartbeat” is comprised of three parts and thematically focuses on nature. Atmospheric moments in this section contain ocean waves, and doom riffs are heavily featured. The final part of this section ends with the repeating lyrics of “and all their deeds will be as though never done” as the metal instrumentation dwindles, leaving a quiet acoustic melody and Lemke’s echoing vocals fading out slowly. The end of this piece makes the listener feel as though they are on a boat floating out of a cave as the soft sounds of water flowing are heard while the music quiets. The first movement of “The Wolves and the Priorless” begins immediately following with an acoustic melody and atmospheric sounds of different birds chirping. This section of Aegis features more acoustic folk instrumentation. The two suites work beautifully together and have the right amount of contrast without breaking any flow to the album.
Aegis was released under the label Eisenwald which works with amazing musicians and bands. If you are familiar with the label, then you already know that the production on this album is on point and the sound is vibrant. The doom riffs and catchy melodies (lead with both electrical and acoustic guitars) along with Lemke’s reverberating vocals make Aegis a unique and captivating album. Each piece shines and helps carry the story. It is hard to pick a favorite track out of this compilation, but I absolutely adore the classic doom riffs and opening guitar track in the final song “The Wolves and the Prioress Part IV.” The melodies stick with me long after listening to the album. This piece also acts as a perfect ending as it is powerful, emotional, and combines many of the earlier elements of the album including an acoustic guitar outro.
I am excited to watch Flame, Dear Flame grow and see what the band creates next. I wonder if their next release will be another story driven folklore album or if they will experiment with a new direction. The members are talented and skilled at what they do—I have no doubt that they will continue to put out intriguing and beautiful music. If you are looking for new bands to discover or just curious to see what these combinations of sounds create with an underlying doom feel, check out Aegis and enjoy Flame, Dear Flame’s step into the spotlight.