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Elvenking - The Scythe

Label: Candlelight USA
Format: CD
Released: 2007
Reviewed By: Kevin Alba

 

Having never listened to Elvenking before, I was very much looking forward to this as I have heard many great things about them. In the midst of listening to this album and doing some homework on the band I learned that many were accusing the band of selling out. Fans were upset that the band went more power metal than folk metal whereas before they were more folk metal with hints of power. Having not heard anything prior to this release I cannot make a judgment call on the matter. I feel that the band plays a good mix of power and folk metal but overall musically have a bit more in common with bands like Blind Guardian, Edguy, and Children of Bodom than they do with bands like Korpiklaani, Turisas, and Skyclad who have a much heavier folk influence present through their metal. I also hear a lot of In Flames present throughout the album going back to that bands glory days.

 
So what do I think about the album? I like it a lot. I was confused after the first listen as I was not used to the sound but it really started to hit me during the second listen. I feel that vocalist Damnagoras has a strong voice. I can’t really compare him to any other vocalist as I feel he is very unique and stands on his own which is a great thing. The extreme vocals add a harsher touch which is good but I am glad that the music isn’t completely extreme vocals as I feel their formula works well. “Poison Tears” could have easily been a Children of Bodom song with its arrangements and heavy use of extreme vocals. “Romance & Wrath” is an excellent track which includes many changes and a female voice adding a nice touch to the song. I would say this is my favorite song on the album. “Death and Suffering” starts off very thrashy which I thought was very cool before going into the bands formula; I can see the mosh pit now if this song were to be played live.

Overall I feel this is a very fine album. Elvenking is set to make their US debut this fall at the ProgPower USA 9 festival being held at Center Stage in Atlanta, Georgia. I know that audience will love these guys and be very receptive. I can definitely see this band breaking out in the US and it being only a matter of time before I see them scheduled to perform at BB Kings in NYC. This band is without a doubt a keeper and not a throwaway in my book. I am looking forward to back tracking and checking out their older material. Having now discovered Elvenking and Pathosray in 2008, Italian metal is looking very good in my eyes.
 
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