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Elvenking - The Scythe (CD)

The Scythe
by Grigoris Chronis at 13 September 2007, 8:17 AM

This is the 4th album by Italian Power/Folk Metal metallers ELVENKING. Hmmm…let's rephrase by saying this is the 4th album by the Italian (once) Power/(now mainly) Folk Metal metallers. If you've always adored the powerful side of these warriors you may feel enough of disappointment due to their will to lower done their amplitude in favor of the traditional/folk elements. At least, I did. On the contrary, fans of the more 'rural' side of ELVENKING will eventually witness their likes raised at maximum level/ Not to forget, a couple of new 'data' is arriving at the band's sound.
The controversy regarding Italian Metal bands will carry on forever. Many are the ones with lots of criticism over many bands' neverending 'happy' Power/Epic attitude while supporters praise the same bands' 'Hollywood' soundtrack outlook in defense of the epos of their melodies (and lyrics, at times). ELVENKING started off by putting SKYCLAD's Penny Dreadful cover on the Japanese version of their 2001 debut Heathenreel and since then their music - including two more CDs, Wyrd (2004) and The Winter Wake (2006) - showed notable elements of how folk music has the potential to work in Metal songwriting. In specific, the current album's predecessor holds up the reflection of the woods, the passion of the silent warriors, the completeness of tradition and paganism, the crying of the blackness.
Now, in The Scythe ELVENKING reminds me of a mix of weak BLIND GUARDIAN, pop-ish IN FLAMES and 'tired' SKYCLAD. The songwriting is rather 'mainstream' (some song parts even reminded me of NIGHTWISH or H.I.M.), there's limited speed in tempos, the guitars are rather pale and violin has a more 'main' role in the band's songs. Choir/multiple vocals and narrative parts carry on dong their job plus growls are rather restricted in this album. Some help has been provided on guitars by the one and only Mike Wead (KING DIAMOND, MEMENTO MORI, HEXENHAUS, ABSTRACT ALGEBRA) and…that's it.
Beautiful cover artwork, great production but rather weak music is my conclusion. ELVENKING's new album is everything but boring, yet it is everything (again) but exceptional.
P.S.: I dig Poison Tears…

3 Star Rating

The Scythe
Lost Hill of Memories
Poison Tears
A Riddle Of Stars
Romance & Wrath
The Divided Heart
Horns Ablaze (bonus track)
Death And The Suffering
Damnagoras - Vocals
Aydan - Guitars & Backing Vocals
Gorlan - Bass
Elyghen - Violin
Zender - Drums
Record Label: AFM Records


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