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Elvellon – Until Dawn

Elvellon
Until Dawn
by Dave Nowels at 03 August 2018, 10:28 AM

ELVELLON is a Symphonic Metal band hailing from Moers, Germany. “Until Dawn” is their third release, and their first with Reaper Entertainment.  In full disclosure, I’m not a huge fan of Symphonic Metal, so I initially had some difficulty coming to terms with ELEVELLON, and put off this review for as long as I thought I could. I can’t say that “Until Dawn” converted me into a fan of the genre, but with that said, I found myself enjoying ELVELLON far more than I expected or care to admit.

Formed in 2010, ELVELLON has continued to grow its fan base, and has received significant laurels from Metal Hammer Germany.  The production of “Until Dawn” is spectacular.  Though, perhaps that is to be expected in the genre. It would certainly seem to make sense I suppose. Regardless, the album was produced by Beray Habip and ELVELLON guitarist Gilbert Gelsdorf, and audibly it’s quite stunning. The music and arrangements were composed by ELVELLON keyboardist Pascal Pannen and Gelsdorf, as well as Martin Klunners, with lyrics penned by Klunners and Gelsdof.

The album opens with “Spellbound” and truthfully, I wasn’t sure what I was in for. The song doesn’t come at you like Metal at all. Rather, it opens with swelling keys before we’re quickly introduced to vocalist Nele Messerschidt. Soaring operatic lead vocals seem to come easy to Messeschidt. The song adds some thundering drums towards the end, but I was still wondering how this was “Metal”. Then, just like that, “Spellbound” segues into “Oraculum”. The thundering drums, evolve into a heavier Metal style featuring a double kick drum, and finally a guitar joins the mix.  The first song that really comes across as Metal to me is “Puppeteer” with a riff oriented guitar, deep bass and more double kick drums. This was the first song that really caught my attention. Make no mistake, Messerschidt is more than just a pretty face, she has some pipes. And that voice seems perfectly suited for this type of music. The next song that grabbed me was “Of Winds And Sand”. Commencing with a Middle Eastern feel, the track serves as an intro into “King Of Thieves”. Again, this one has more of a distinctive Metal feel to it, which I welcomed, as well as continuing to focus on the intro’s Middle Eastern flair.

I commonly take issue with German and bands from other countries releasing albums in their non-native English. Often the lyrics translate into something ridiculously contrived and cheesy. That seems far from the case here. ELVELLON should be commended for releasing an album that is lyrically as good as it is well played; and well played it is. Echoing my appreciation of the stellar production, the band is incredibly talented, though I can’t help but wonder how well they can pull it off live.

The album begins to closes out much like it began. “Shore To Aeon” is another swelling keyboard feature and vocal showcase for Messerschidt, that fades out to the sound of waves crashing on a shore. The final track, “Born From Hope”, is along the line of “Puppeteer”, and rocks out a bit more. Though it was surprising in how it just suddenly ends. End of the vocal, boom, end of song.

Was ELVELLON’s “Until Dawn” the album to convert me into a Symphonic Metal fan? No, but I will freely give it credit for impressing me more than I thought it would. As far as Symphonic Metal goes, I can conclude that ELEVLLON has to be a top tier ensemble.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 10

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Spellbound
2. Oraculum
3. Silence From The Deep
4. The Puppeteer
5. Fallen Into A Dream
6. Of Winds And Sand
7. King Of Thieves
8. Until Dawn
9. Dead-End Alley
10. Shore To Aeon
11. Born From Hope
12. Dreamcatcher
 
Lineup:
Nele Messerschidt – Vocals
Pascal Pannen – Keyboards
Martin ‘Maddin’ Kluners – Drums
Gilbert Gelsdorf – Guitars
Philipp ‘Phil’ Kohout - Bass
 
Record Label: Reaper Entertainment
     


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