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Elixir - Where The Secret Lies

Elixir
Where The Secret Lies
by Anna Chase at 02 April 2017, 1:20 PM

Now, I’ve heard plenty of South American Metal bands in my lifetime, such as SEPULTURA and KRISIUN (two of my personal favorites). However, Brazil is pretty much the powerhouse of South American Metal, and churns out Death and Thrash Metal acts like no other country. That’s why ELIXIR, from Uruguay, introduced something new to the metal scene. Uruguay isn’t exactly known far and wide for its Heavy Metal, but “Where the Secret Lies” proves that traditional Power Metal is alive and well there. This album is the second full-length one released by ELIXIR, after “Unleash the Magic” in 2012. “Unleash the Magic,” at least so far as the two songs I’ve heard off of the album, is a 40 minute long Symphonic Speed Metal adventure. “Wasteland,” which is in my opinion the strongest track of the album, combines non-traditional growling vocals with a melodic tune reminiscent of NWOBHM tracks. Though the album was solid technically, I felt as though lead vocalist Navarro needed to vary his stylistic elements of singing and that the band needed to push themselves further to develop their own unique style.

“World is not Over,” the first track, starts off with an Electro-Synth background mixed with heavy drumbeats and Navarro’s classic 80’s wail. The combination of the Electro-Pop backing track and the Trad Metal guitar was a bit peculiar, I’m not gonna lie. However, the talent is undeniably there. “Broken Heart” opens with an intro of the same melodic synth, before diving into a power metal riff overlaid with several vocal tracks. The multiple vocal themes add richness to the track and establishes it as a power metal anthem with stuttering drum beats put in the spotlight. The third track, “Beyond Dreams,” was slightly less Electronica-influenced than the previous two. Artecona and Garcia’s thrashing riffs matched well with the drums, and the chorus was catchy. However, Navarro’s style of vocals was getting slightly tired and repetitive- I think this song could have benefitted greatly from some variation. Although “Everlasting Soul” doesn’t exactly scream Heavy Metal at me, I found it quite enjoyable. It sounded a bit like Prog Rock to me, and while the riffs weren’t complicated, I thought Navarro’s vocals fit well with the guitar and the clean cutout in the middle gave the song a much needed break. “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” the fifth track, was classic Speed Metal with a melodic twist. However, some of the riffs and vocal melodies sounded a bit recycled to me. The song was solid technically, though, and the synth keyboard wasn’t used, which was a welcome change from many of the album’s other tracks. “Rising Star,” the next song, was sadly one of my least favorites on the album. Navarro sounded slightly out of tune in some parts, and the poor production quality gave the track a lighter feel even though it had heavy potential. The tone of the vocals was becoming monotonous at this point, and the riffs were neither remarkable nor distinctive.

“Where the Secret Lies” is probably one of the best tracks on this album, and deserves its place as the title’s namesake. The song is classic Power Metal mixed with heavier drum beats, powerful melodies, and an epic chorus. The keyboard adopts an almost orchestral sound, which I much prefer to the electronic sound utilized so often in the first songs. “Release Myself” brought back the Pop-Metal keyboard and introduced a series of pauses in between riffs, which built suspense. Navarro’s vocals fit well in this song, and I enjoyed the melody of the chorus mixed with the frantic keyboard in the background and the pounding drums. The echoing keyboard track around 2:20 was surprisingly good, especially since I think that the addition of the electronic noise weakened the first two songs. The last track, “Southern Pride,” has nothing to do with PANTERA’s brand of Confederate metal. It’s a technically masterful song with complex riffs and a catchy chorus combined with a Thrash-influenced drum backing. The chugging riffs added depth to the song, and the juxtaposition between the piano cutout and the heavy riffs introduced an element of variety that the rest of the album lacked. In conclusion, I don’t want to be too harsh as ELIXIR are undoubtedly talented. While “Where the Secret Lies” suffered from overuse of misplaced electronica tracks, vocal similarities, and weak production quality, it is still a solid Power Metal album that obviously had a lot of work put into it by the band.

Songwriting: 5
Originality: 4
Memorability: 5
Production: 5

2 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. World Is Not Over
2. Broken Heart
3. Beyond Dreams
4. Everlasting Soul
5. You’ll Never Walk Alone
6. Rising Star
7. The Sailor Song
8. Where the Secret Lies
9. Have You Ever Felt This Way
10. Release Myself
11. Southern Pride
Lineup:
Andres Duarte- Bass
Federico Fleitas- Drums
Matias Artecona- Guitar
Marcos Garcia- Guitar
Brunno Navarro- Vocals
Record Label: Maple Metal Records
     


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