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Elwing - War (CD)

by Grigoris Chronis at 12 April 2005, 8:57 PM

Playing in a Metal band in a country like Greece isn't such an easy task. Partial or total lack of crucial factors (recording studios, experienced producers, army obligations, live music venues, media support/promotion etc) can - and already has - buried many bands' dreams and capabilities. Greece is not only Rotting Christ or Nightfall; many bands in the traditional Power/Epic genre cry out their worthiness with releases certainly equivalent to lots of established bands/albums worldwide. Isn't this a good intro for Elwing's latest War album?
Formed in 2000 under the Merlin moniker, the quartet released their Immortal Stories debut in 2002 (responsible for the excellent cover of the CD was Ken Kelly, the famous designer of Manowar), achieving a fair amount of recognition across the globe - except maybe Greece… A perfect mixture of Manowar, Domine, Running Wild, Iron Maiden and Blind Guardian - in order of visible influences/elements embodied - showed a band with the strong will to revive/continue the battle days of the past. So, after three years War breaks loose and we have to find out what's goin' on in the battlefield!
Ten tracks are featured in the album and I tried hard to choose the best ones. Guess what? I failed! All tunes are colored by a battle-mode attitude, lead harmonies and efficient solos come and go, in-your-face riffs leave no space for disbelief, the rhythm section is hot as hell and the vocal lines can easily be compared to mournful war cries - not to leave aside the well-managed choir backing vocals in some tracks. I wasn't THAT optimistic for the result, even if I knew I'd have the chance to hear a fine serious work. Thus, I'm glad I was betrayed by these four warriors, who surely have put a lot of effort into this work! If you deserately need some comparison between War and Immortal Stories, I can only say that the Manowar influence is a little bit shortened now, leaving space available for the Doomswrod/Domine treasure to develop.
I wonder if this band will have the chance to participate in any of the traditional festivals goin' on in Europe annually (Keep It true, Headbangers Open Air etc). I'm sure they'll kill onstage; this may be their best weapon to promote their intentions. From my side, the scope is clear: Buy Or Die!
- Album Highlights: The march…

4 Star Rating

Marching To Glory
At The Gates
I'll Live Forever
Sons Of Revenge
Blood On My Hands
Fly Away
Lost Humanity
Sakis Koutsasis - Vocals & Rhythm Guitars
Alexis Mantirakis - Drums
Tasos Karapapazoglou - Bass
Panagiotis Roumeliotis - Lead/Rhythm Guitars
Record Label: Black Lotus Records


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