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Elixir — Voyage of the Eagle

Voyage of the Eagle
by Kelley Simms at 09 May 2020, 1:08 AM

Although ELIXIR were never as well known as other bands within the NWOBHM scene in its heyday, the band has been around since 1983. However, after a couple of hiatuses, the newly reformed band has just released its seventh full-length album, “Voyage of the Eagle,” its first in a decade.

With lyrical themes about mythology and war, the band possess epic, traditional heavy metal influences in the vein of GRIM REAPER, SAXON and IRON MAIDEN. In fact, ex-MAIDEN drummer Clive Burr (R.I.P. 2013) played on the band’s sophomore release “Lethal Potion.” However, this 1990 album wasn’t very well-received at the time, leading to the band’s break up, while some longtime fans consider their debut album, “Son of Odin,” to be a minor classic.

“Drink to The Devil” kicks “Voyage of the Eagle” off in standard NWOBHM fashion with the band’s SAXON/MAIDEN influences, decorated with rapturous gang chants, mid-paced rhythms and an anthemic chorus. Vocalist Paul Taylor sounds noticeably similar to Biff Byford with his resonating and melodic mid-ranged timbre.

“Onward Through the Storm” picks up the pace just a bit with its chugging riffs and thunderous double kick drum patterns, while the simplistic four on the floor drum beat and menacing riffs of “Mutiny” contains some NWOBHM elements, along with a few slight US power metal influences in the vein of OMEN. “Almost There” also displays the band’s straight-ahead, hard-driving hard rock influences.

However, the problem with “Voyage of the Eagle” is that there are too many “metal ballads” that possess too many slower to mid-paced rhythms without much variation or tempo changes that overstay their welcome, most notably on the longer tracks such as the seven-plus minute “The Siren’s Song,” “Sail On” and album closer “Evermore.”

Although ELIXIR won’t be turning the metal world upside down with “Voyage of the Eagle,” it’s a halfway decent foray into the band’s past with an updated, modern sound on the trad metal genre.

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

3 Star Rating

1. Drink to The Devil
2. Press Gangned
3. Horizons
4. The Siren’s Song
5. Sail On
6. Onward Through the Storm
7. Mutiny
8. Almost There
9. Whisper on The Breeze
10. Evermore
Nigel Dobbs — Drums
Phil Denton — Guitars
Norman Gordon — Guitars
Paul Taylor — Vocals
Luke Fabian — Bass
Record Label: Dissonance Productions


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