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Elysatium – The Giant’s Fall

Elysatium
The Giant’s Fall
by Thomas Kumke at 31 October 2022, 5:41 AM

The idea of forming symphonic Metal band ELYSATIUM had Steen Caspersen already in 2007. After building a studio suited for the symphonic sound of the band and a long search for the right vocalist, he eventually found Metal newcomer Stine Grove, who pursued a vocalist career in Trance at the time. After the Swedish/Danish outfit was complete, the recording of the debut full-length album was done. “The Giant’s Fall” has an impressive length of 63 minutes. The album is an independent release.

The album starts with a cinematic and bombastic orchestral sound. “The Hunger” is an interplay between the guitars, bass, drums, and the orchestra, where the strings and occasionally the brass are leading the song. The melodies are easy to listen to and have a certain catchiness. The song is played at relatively fast pace with a few variations towards mid-tempo. The vocals range between the medium to the higher pitched end of the vocal range with relatively little variation. It is an interesting vocal approach to the song, as Stine Grove does not attempt to lead the song, her vocals do also not sound expressive. I rather had the impression that Stine Grove makes “her own thing” as the vocals almost sound a bit in parallel to the overall sound of “The Hunger”. “Safe World” has a powerful and heavy start with the guitar riffing. The sound is darker, and the orchestral contribution is led predominantly by the brass. It is a mid-tempo track, and the vocals are more versatile and more integrated into the bombastic sound firework. “Safe World” is the official video release, and the YouTube link is given below.

While in the opening song, the orchestra was the leading element, in “Safe World” and also in “Virtual Life”, the Metal instruments go more head-to-head with the strings and the brass. The guitar riffing drive the song and gives the direction. The sound of “Virtual Life” is very bombastic and leaves not enough room for the Stine Grove to express herself. There is a short piano driven part, where she stamps her authority on the track and shows what she is capable of. The title track is slightly different. Here, at most parts of “The Giant’s Fall”, the vocals lead the track and keep the sound together. The sound of the title song is dominated by the orchestra together with the vocals for most of the time, apart from a very contributing lead guitar solo. “Insomnia” is a mid-tempo track with catchy melodies, simple textures, and a sound where the guitar riffing and the orchestra contribute equally to the track. The chorus parts are almost anthemic, and the vocals are the overarching element keeping the sound together. “Insomnia” is one of the album highlights, and has all the potential for becoming a fan favorite.

Destiny” has similarly to “Safe World” a heavy start with the guitar riffing. The track starts with an extended instrumental play of the guitars and the orchestra, before the vocals join in. It is another track with a catchy chorus part and where the vocals lead excellently through the track. Highlight of “Destiny”, besides the vocal contribution, is the extended lead guitar solo. “Flirting With Death” starts with a piano intro, before the melodies are taken over by the guitars, the strings, and the brass. The brass, being more in the background, give the song an extra depth. “Flirting With Death” has great melodies and they are very well suited to the voice of Stine Grove. It is one of the few songs with a clean break during the middle part, introduced by the orchestra and continued by the lead guitar solo. “Flirting With Death” is another album highlight. “Your Memory Live On” is a ballad and it is almost between the piano and the vocals, with the strings and later on the drums contributing in the background. Stine Grove excellently takes on the lead and guides through the track. The sound is building up towards the middle part, where the orchestra plays at full swing, but it turns nicely back where it all began: the piano and the voice. “Your Memory Live On” has all its strengths through the emotional performance of Stine Grove.

Dead Zone” is another track driven by the orchestra. The verse parts are played relatively fast, while the chorus parts are at measured pace. A typical feature of many songs on the album is the short “duet” of piano and vocals, which gives “Dead Zone” an extra layer. “Who We Are” is a catchy song and more driven by the guitar riffing, with the orchestral elements contributing to the melodies given by the guitars and the vocals. “Who We Are” is a very dynamic song and has its catchiness during the chorus part. “My Nothingness” is a very fast song. It is almost too fast and sounds a bit chaotic, especially with the string contribution which are very dominating throughout. Highlight of the track is another well contributing lead guitar solo. The album finishes with “Demons In Paradise”, and it starts with a pacey instrumental part. The verse part is driven by the strings and the vocals at a measured pace. The voluminous, bombastic sound of the track is a good reflection of the album. While “Demons In Paradise” is arguably not among the album highlights, it characterizes the sound on the album pretty well. In so far, a good way to end the album.

ELYSATIUM needed a long time for releasing their debut album, but they come up with a special album. Given the very extensive orchestral contributions to the sound, I was sometimes not sure whether I listen to a symphonic Metal album or to a symphonic album. The sound of “The Giant’s Fall” is at least bombastic, occasionally overly bombastic where the orchestra is the dominant element. In those songs, I had the impression that the vocals, typically central in symphonic Metal, were sacrificed. A better balance between all the sound elements would have been beneficial. The album is very well produced. “The Giant’s Fall” has a lot of promising moments and fans of a very orchestral bombastic symphonic Metal sound will dig the album. ELYSATIUM is surely a band to watch out in the future.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 7
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. The Hunger
2. Safe World
3. Virtual Life
4. The Giant’s Fall
5. Insomnia
6. Destiny
7. Flirting With Death
8. Your Memory Live On
9. Dead Zone
10. Who We Are
11. My Nothingness
12. Demons In Paradise
Lineup:
Stine Grove – Vocals
Steen Caspersen – Guitars
Mar Kevin – Drums
Record Label: Independent
     


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