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Elvenstorm - The Conjuring

The Conjuring
by Mike 'Bitchin" Bourgeois at 24 July 2018, 5:35 AM

French band ELVENSTORM has offered up their fourth album “The Conjuring,” and while there's nothing bad I can say about this collection, (other than the bass is lost in the mix altogether) there's also nothing that really stands out either. When " The Conjuring" opens the album, it does give a sense of darkness, almost like your listening in on a ritual you aren't allowed to know of. When "Bloodlust" kicks in it is entertaining but as it progresses your left with a sense you've heard this before, and that is why I think I cannot really get behind this offering.

The arpeggio opening of "Ritual of Summoning" was nicely done but fell back into the cliche ridden main body of the song.  When the inevitable cut time came, the Gregaorian chanting seemed an afterthought to try and fill out the section. Laura Lombard has a voice full of promise that just seems to fall short when it needs to be powerful, clearly heard in "Devil Within" Rather nasally I feel if she learned to commit to singing from her diaphragm it would give her vocals a kick from ok to "WOW". "Stellar Descension" is an instrumental offering which actually pissed me off a bit, if only for the reason it was the first I heard Benoit Lecuona on bass and what I heard was great. Not flashy, but his sense of melody is a breath of fresh air. Unlike most bass players, he skirts around the root note rather than camping on it and that Geddy Lee move fills out a song tremendously. Too bad it's lost on most of the recording.

There is one song that stood out a bit more than the others. "Cross of Damnation" gives me a sense of a song that would be great live at a festival, with chanting and a good driving beat. Crowd participation would almost be mandatory. The verdict in the end is it's good… but nothing really seemed to jump out. The drumming of Antoine Bussiere was solid, and Michael Hellstrom is an accomplished guitarist but too many times I've seen talented musicians put out safe and predictable music, and "The Conjuring" falls into that trap. Enjoyable? Yes, but not really memorable.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 6
Memorability: 5
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. The Conjuring
2. Bloodlust
3. Ritual of Summoning
4. Into the Night
5. Devil Within
6. Chaos from Beyond
7. Stellar Descension
8. Evil's Dawn
9. Cross of Damnation
10. Dawn of Destruction
Laura Lombard F.– Vocals
Michael Hellstrom – Guitars
Benoit Lecuona – Bass
Antoine Bussiere – Drums
Record Label: Massacre Records


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