• 8.5/10
    BERIEDIR - AQVA - 8.5/10


Label: Rockshots Records
Release date: January 21, 2022

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Alae Beriedir!

Years after, the English Professor of Oxford still inspires countless artists from a multitude of horizons. Beriedir is the Sindarin (Elven language spoken in Beleriand) for “Guardians”. Though the link with Tolkien is now tenuous, the literary reference is a nice touch to keep in mind while you are listening to this album. Perhaps Ulmo will send you some visions while you listen to AQVA. You may yet find a correspondence with Middle-Earth in the themes of the songs dear to Tolkien: friendship, travelling, the power of human creation, loss and longing.

Even if pitfalls and two years of COVID scattered the path of the Italian band, the wait for the album is finally over, and AQVA is a promising work of Progressive Metal.

Water, water everywhere and plenty enough to drink

Only their second effort, AQVA still has a clear sound production (in 2022, a sloppy sound would denote a lack of work and commitment). “At Candle Light” and “Departure Song” open the album on the Power rather than the Prog side, with fast-tempi and melodies both catchy and enchanting.

The sound of Beriedir relies on this balance between complex instrumental arrangements and flowing vocal lines. Keyboards are also very much in the foreground, sometimes slightly at the expense of guitars. The singing style of Stefano Nusperli is clean and sharp and only the drums would sometimes benefit from some lightness. Despite these minor flaws, AQVA is still worth listening to. It’s not by chance that “Stormbound” was released first as it illustrates perfectly the nature of this record. For the more progressive side of their work, “The Angel in the Lighthouse” and “Rain'” will be the most satisfying.

Sailing to the Hither Shores

The word “elegant” comes to mind to describe the atmosphere of this album. None of these songs is superfluous. The strength of this release lies in the coherence and articulation of the songs. This clever structure supports an emotional journey. It evokes gigantic waves crashing on your heads. Rays of light piercing clouds and winds shattering bones… Bodies of water provide endless inspirations and mental associations both sensual and melancholic. There’s almost a visual dimension to this album: water and lights picturing endless mental landscapes.

The appreciation of AQVA is a matter of sensibility and the best way for you to experience it is to lie down, close your eyes and let it guide you to your own vision of the Hither Shores.


  • Séverine Peraldino

    Reviewer, interviewer and apprentice photographer for Metal Express Radio, Séverine comes from a small place in the Southern French Alps, near Grenoble. Her taste for classic Heavy Metal is a family heritage and after growing up listening to Iron Maiden, Dio, Metallica and Angra she expanded her horizons with almost every subgenre of Metal, from Power, to Prog, a little bit of Death and Black Metal. She mostly enjoys albums telling stories with originality. When she is not travelling around for concerts and festivals, you can find her reading a good book, or playing board games with friends.

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