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Elyria - Refraction

Reflection and Refraction
by Sammy M at 14 July 2016, 1:35 PM

ELYRIA are relatively new to the metal scene, officially forming in 2012 but not releasing a full length debut album until this year. However, the member of the band have plenty of experience in other bands and have come together as an experiment of Patricia Cooney and Oliver Weislogel as an attempt to turn the somewhat obscure lyrics and classically trained vocals of Cooney, and turn it all in to catchy progressive metal. In many ways they succeed, but certainly not to the extent that they had clearly hoped for, or have the potential to do.

At first glance “Reflection and Refraction” appears so be a Symphonic Metal album, and in many ways it fits in this category due to the clean and powerful vocals and the orchestral accompaniment that is in most tracks. However once you delve in to it a little more, you quickly discover that this fits more in to the progressive metal camp rather than symphonic. It’s often extremely experimental and works in ways that it possibly shouldn’t. There’s a great amount of skill on display from all of the musicians, and they are clearly trying to do something different. The issue is that is often doesn’t come together as well as it should. The first five tracks on the album don’t utilise the voice of Cooney in the way she seems more comfortable, and often the music just doesn’t fit with the vocals. “Human Kaleidoscope” was the first track that was actually catchy in the way that was proposed, and started to show a little of the true potential lying beneath the surface. “Faceless” is actually an absolutely fantastic track and plays to the strengths of the entire band, showing the power in the vocals, and the song writing ability of Cooney and Weislogel. “Virtues” being the only true ballad on the album, is by far the strongest performance by Cooney as she manages to get in touch with her classical roots and show off the beauty of her voice. The closing track “Distance” is a rather good send off, as it feels extremely polished and shows quite a lot of range from the band as a whole.

It’s unfortunate that “Reflection and Refraction” is let down by a weak beginning, as in many cases most listeners would have lost interest by the time they get to the good parts. Aside from the beginning, the other let down is the production quality, as it often sounds like it’s been recorded in a shed and therefore doesn’t quite let you hear the full potential of the band and the intricate music they have created. ELYRIA show a lot of potential here, and will hopefully give us more of what made the second half of the album good, next time we hear from them.

Songwriting: 8/10
Originality: 8/10
Memorability: 6/10
Production: 2/10


3 Star Rating

01. Open Portals
02. The Vigil
03. Blind
04. Colour Of Silence
05. Salome
06. Human Kaleidoscope
07. Beyond Earth
08. Only Words
09. Faceless
10. Mindshift
11. Dreamwalker
12. Virtues
13. Distance
Patricia Cooney – Vocals
Oliver Weislogel – Guitar
Stefan Mankiewicz  – Bass
Sascha Kaisler – Drums
Record Label: Independant


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