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Eleine - Dancing in Hell

Dancing in Hell
by Jean-François Poulin at 22 October 2020, 3:02 AM

ELEINE was founded by lead vocalist Madeleine Liljestam & guitarist/growler Rikard Ekberg. The first show was held in 2014 and the following year ELEINE released their self-titled debut album. ELEINE’s music is heavy dark symphonic metal with a unique and interesting spin. When performing on stage, they never fail to deliver a show that captivates the audience by seducing and striking them with a massive sense of wonder. When people hear ELEINE, they might also identify the name with an alternative model. Beyond being the founder and lead singer of the band, Madeleine is an alternative model and has been on the cover of magazines such as Scandinavian Tattoo Magazine and Dominate Me Magazine, and she models for several large alternative companies.

Safe to say that Madeleine Liljestam is at the forefront of the band, she is the centerpiece of the band, the rest is kinda put in the background. I would have enjoyed more room for the rest of the band because it’s something that is truly overbearing at times. She has a good voice and good range but lacks the power and emotion you have to have for bands like these. You want a vocalist that catches your attention and not your eyesight. I feel this band has this tendency of the smoke and mirrors effect. A feast for the eyes to compensate for a lot of things and it’s something I can’t really stand.

I really enjoyed the middle eastern influences in the songs, especially on the opener ‘’Enemies’’, that was something I was pleasantly surprised with. You rarely see Symphonic Metal bands use those elements in their music and it’s a nice change of pace. I think Madeleine has some Middle Eastern heritage in her bloodline so that would why it may have been something that she wanted to incorporate in their music.

I think they would have been better off with only female vocals because the growls are all kinds of awful. They are not good and just get on the nerves, it’s a damn shame because he can sing quite well clean but they opted for dual vocals and it’s chaotic at best. I mean bands like EPICA can really do with both types of vocals because they complement each other but if you have subpar growls, it hurts the quality of the other vocalist at hand.

She has a nice voice but it’s not attention grabbing, it works well with the flow of the music (think the last few albums by DELAIN). It’s good but it’s paint by numbers Symphonic Metal and it gets repetitive quite fast. The arrangements are fine and the production is top notch, I got to hand it to them obviously. The album’s force is that production and it gives another dimension to the songs. It van be very theatrical, especially on ‘’Crawl from the Ashes’’, it feels like you are in a video game. The beginning is awesome but the vocals kinda hurt the momentum of the song. The mix is great and the vocals fit well with the Gothenburg sound behind it but it’s obviously something we have heard countless times. She lacks the emotion to front the band itself, its mundane and boring at times. She has a good range like I said beforehand but just lacks the proper presence on this opus.

It’s fine but it’s not overly memorable. It goes by fast but it’s not the type of album you would like to listen another time. It’s enjoyable at times but gets old fast and putting the emphasis on the looks of a vocalist before anything else is a cheap tactic in my book but they have some solid potential but lacks something that packs a punch.

Songwriting: 6
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 5
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

1. Enemies
2. Dancing in Hell
3. Ava of Death
4. Crawl from the Ashes
5. As I Breather
6. Memoriam
7. Where Your Rotting Corpse Lie
8. All Shall Burn
9. Die From Within
10. The World We Knew
11. Die From Within (Symphonic Version)
Madeleine Liljestam – Vocals
Rikard Ekberg – Guitars and Vocals
Jesper Sunnhagen – Drums
Ludwig Dante – Guitars
Anton Helgesson – Bass
Record Label: Black Lodge Records


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Edited 10 December 2022

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