CD ReviewsFeaturedFebruary 2024Issues

New Album Feature: The Grove by Ember Belladonna

Emma Belladonna is a session musician and a solo artist who goes by the name Ember Belladonna.  Her session recording consists mainly of video game soundtracks, and with her solo music, she creates a blend of folk flute and metal music.
 'The Grove' has come about after several years of on-and-off work.  I've been dreaming for years of making an album that combines my love of flute playing with my love of metal music, and this is the result. The album has a mix of songs showcasing a more 'traditional' sounding flute and heavier songs that feature a glissando flute, a flute run through a guitar pedal plug-in, and many other effects.  The album also features three guest vocalists and, all together, create a world of fantasy and wonder across its songs.
1. Tenalach
2. Heart of the Grove feat. The Darkeyed Musician
3. The Wild Hunt
4. Ruination feat. James Delbridge of Lycanthro
5. The Grove
6. Spirit Woman feat. Laura Inferno of The Inferno Doll
7. The Unnamed
8. Heart of the Grove - Instrumental
Why did you record this CD?
Recording a solo CD is something I have wanted to do for years.  I've had these ideas about new ways a flute could sound.  I grew up playing classical music and playing in school band, but I often listen to metal music, and I've always wanted to find a way to fuse the two.  Later in high school, I discovered that this already existed in a way through Folk Metal, and then my goal became to create my own version of this music with the flute at the forefront.  I have spent a long time playing around with running the flute through guitar amp plug-ins or distortion plug-ins and finding the perfect way it can fit in alongside the heavy guitars and drums.  That being said, I want this album to cover the full spectrum of what I can do with my flute.  There are acoustic ballads paired with heavy songs where the flute becomes unrecognizable to an electric guitar.
Where did you get your inspiration?
My inspiration for this has come from so many places it's tough to narrow it down.  There are bands I have listened to for years that give me the rush of adrenaline only your favorite music can give you. Some of these bands include Eluveitie, Equilibrium, Children of Bodom, Myrkur, and many more.  I am also hugely inspired by epic fantasy and folklore - think Lord of the Rings, Baldur's Gate, and The Witcher, as well as Celtic, Scottish, and Welsh folklore. Finally, I am greatly inspired by the people I surround myself with - so many amazing musicians and artists who encouraged me to continue and get this project done!
Facts about the project?
This entire album was recorded across the span of North America, with all the musicians in different locations. I am so grateful that I can connect with other musicians and make music this way!
Vocalists: The Darkeyed Musician, James Delbridge of Lycanthro, Laura Inferno of The Inferno Doll
Guitar / Mixing & Mastering: Justin Bender
Drums: Saint Zapp

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