|Review: Elvenpath - Gateways|
Year released: 2004
Genre: Power Metal
Review online: April 18, 2005
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Rated 2.5/5 (50%) (2 Votes)
Elvenpath are (surprise!) a Power Metal band releasing an independent debut CD in an effort to get some press. Usually German bands are more mean than flowery, and so with the froofy name I was surprised these guys hail from the land of genocide and beer, but hey, it's not the name, it's the metal. So let me say right off that Elvenpath are not as sissy as their name sounds, and there is some pretty good metal riffage going on here. These guys are pretty firmly in the standard power metal vein, obviously influenced a lot by bands like Maiden, Iced Earth, Blind Guardian, etc. A major influence here is also earlier Nocturnal Rites, from the "The Sacred Talisman" era – oh! Look at that, Elvenpath even have a song called "The Sacred Talisman" on here, I wonder where that came from?
This is not a bad disc, but it is pretty freaking generic, and the production is bad, bad, bad. I can tell with a decent recording job this would be much more entertaining, but this is a very muffled job that sounds like the mic was in another room entirely. The mix is OK, and no one instrument predominates, but the whole is muddy and lacks any kind of presence. The songwriting is pretty good, with some nice metal riffs, which would sound better if the recording was any good. The vocals are OK, sounding a lot like the dude from Battleroar, though I see the band has acquired a new singer since this was recorded, so we'll hope for the best.
With a first-rate singer and some money to get decent sound, Elvenpath could make a go of it. They aren't going to win any awards for originality, but for what is essentially a demo, this is actually pretty advanced. If they get heavier and write some memorable vocal lines to go with those solid riffs, their next one could be a lot of fun. A band to keep an eye on.
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