Sunday, December 30, 2007

CD Reviews

Past Reviews: with some minor dates editing.

Local Band Triskalia
Local Band Enchants with Myth, Magick and MysteryCD Review: Myth, Magick and Mysteries Local Band Enchants with Myth, Magick and MysteryBY Kindra RavenMoon Triskalia is a Montreal-based band that has been around since 2004. Band members describe their music as "Celtic Fusion", although personally I like to call it "Celtic Ethereal". Their music is folk rock, new age ambient, smooth & sultry with acoustic and heavy bass tones mixed up into the cauldron. Their themes include love and fantasy, the good with the bad, based on myth, magick and mystery. Triskalia's members are Jason Bernard ("Lokigui"), Ryan Higgins, Roger Lymburner ("NightWing"), Marc Antoine Lebeau ("Flazz"), and Elodee. Lokigui, who is Triskalia's front man, has over 25 years of musical experience behind him, and has specialized in playing various forms of stringed instruments: His favorite is still his rhythm acoustic guitar, a B-15 Norman 12 string. Loki uses a variety of vocal ranges and tones; his unique vocals and rhythm guitar combination give Triskalia their signature sound. When not playing or touring with Triskalia, Lokigui is the owner of SunTarot (one of Montreal's occult shops), where he is a professional palmist, astrologer and tarot card reader. He is also the founder of the Montreal International Folk Festival. Ryan has been playing percussion since the age of 14. He started his music career playing with the alternative band "Black Sugar" and then during the late 90's went on and started his own thrash metal band. He has also worked with various other thrash/death metal bands prior to joining Triskalia. NightWing has been playing bass guitar for about 23 years now. He began his formal musical training at age 8, playing classical piano. Prior to Triskalia, NightWing played with Ryan in the "Aaron Amadeus Band". Outside of his musical life, NightWing is the current Vice-President, Canadian Affairs, for AREN (Alternative, Relgions Education Network) International Inc, a member and teacher at the Spiritual Science Fellowship (SSF), and a Reiki master. Flazz was the winner of the Bardic competition at the Awakening Isis Festival in 2004. He has been playing the violin for over 30 years now. His main influences include flamenco and jazz. In 2002, Flazz released his first solo album entitled "Flazz". Triskalia have played a great number (52) of venues over the past 2 years and have come a long way as a band. In comparison to about a year ago, their coordination and timing are now very much more in sync whereas in the past they at times were lacking harmony during some points of their live performances. Also, Loki now has more of a rapport with his audience compared to the past where it was almost non-existent. An example of this would be when the band used to just go up and play their set then get off; the music was still very good but a certain ambiance and energy was lacking due to failure of eye contact and verbal intervention with the audience. I am very glad to say that Triskalia has much improved on these minor faults and they, as well as their audience, benefit from it as a result. Triskalia have recently had a minor change to their line up: The original line up included keyboard/vocalist Elodee whose angelic backing vocals (and also lead on a few songs) made Triskalia's ethereal-underground sounds jump out just a little bit more to kiss your eardrums. This slight downsize in Triskalia's line up will most definitely affect changes in their tone for their next album and upcoming shows but I have no fear that their music will still catch you off guard just when you thought you had them figured out. Triskalia's debut album, Myth, Magick and Mysteries, is available at Sun Tarot (5403 Parc Avenue, Montreal) and online at

Kindra RavenMoon is a non-Wiccan witch who has been practicing for over 15 years. She has also taught various occult subjects and feels that everybody has something to learn from each other.

CD Review: Myth, Magick and Mysteries
BY Taras
Myth, Magick and Mysteries 13 tracks, ~38 mins by Triskalia (2005)
With a name and title like these you might already have a pretty good idea of what to expect from the music on Triskalia's first CD, Myth, Magick & Mysteries, and for the most part this guess would be accurate. The music is primarily Celtic in flavour with Middle Eastern accents, most of the latter coming from the percussion section. As far as cultural fusions go, this one is fairly popular, so the question becomes: what makes this different from any other such album? Certainly the sound mix is not as pronounced as a larger budget would have allowed, but some fiddling with a graphic equalizer will probably help you work around it, and that exercise in itself should be quite rewarding, because it will reveal what the instruments are doing in each song. Although the songwriting and arrangement are not revolutionary, the overall music does have an individual flavour, so you do get the feeling you're listening to something a little bit different. In particular the presence of an electric bass instead of the customary additional acoustic string instrument means that there is a sense of propulsion and modernity to the music, and so contemporary pop influences crop up in the music once in a while. Although there may not be an overall definable Triskalia sound that emerges over the album, this is one of those debuts that works best without one. What does come through in every track is a sense of the joy of performance, with the musicians making it clear that they had fun producing this music, so again there's a sense of energy present on this album that often lacks in "traditional"-sounding releases. The primary area of improvement for Triskalia would seem to be the lead vocals, which are usually performed in a nasal half-mumble reminiscent of David Byrne (Talking Heads). It makes the listener feel there's a lack of confidence, as though the vocalist were trying to hide behind the instruments, which is a shame because one loses the words and it tends to hold the songs back a little bit, particularly in Maiden Mother Crone which has the music and lyrics of a celebration but never quite makes it that far because of the restrained vocals. On the other hand, when the vocals are performed in a relaxed and loose manner, their sense of fun matches that of the rest of the players, and that's when Triskalia's potential is fully realised. Myth, Magick and Mysteries, is currently available at Sun Tarot (5403 Parc Avenue, Montreal) and online at They perform at the Montreal Witches' Ball.

Taras is an avid audiophile and Montreal writer of many things, including the ongoing story Baker's 12his online column www..wyntergreene..The Teddybear Sawdust Show, and a novel in progress titled The Brotherhood of the Silver Cross.
© 2004.

This article appeared in the Harvest 2004 issue of WynterGreene. Permission to reprint, with full credit, must be granted by the author. If you would like to reprint this article, please email