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Review: Elvenking - The Winter Wake
The Winter Wake

Label: AFM Records
Year released: 2006
Duration: 51:44
Tracks: 11
Genre: Power Metal

Rating: 3.5/5

Review online: February 21, 2007
Reviewed by: Bruce Dragonchaser
Readers Rating
The Winter Wake

Rated 3.14/5 (62.86%) (14 Votes)

Despite their unrelenting fan base in Europe, Italy's Elvenking have been subjected to little praise over here in the UK. This however, may not be without merit, as anyone outside of the power metal coterie may find them incongruous beyond imagining. Their third full length sees original vocalist Damnagoras return to the woods after the amazing "Wyrd" surfaced many moons ago. His vocal delivery is not exactly outstanding, and he is certainly no Tobias Sammet, but as with previous releases the gentle folk-vocal works to a certain degree, without pushing any immense power behind the notes. This is one of the ruling factors of the album. Through all its pathos and geniality the vocals are rather off key, and along with the monstrous gang vocals displayed on the majority of the tracks it all sounds like a convoluted mess at times. The songs are not as interesting as those of "Wyrd" either; there is no "Moonchariot" or "Pathfinders" here, but some do come close. Opener "Trow's Kind", "The Wanderer" and the catchy "Rouse Your Dream" are all perfectly executed power metal tracks, with their trademark flash of folk thrown in for that extra oaky resonance.

Production wise, the drums sound professionally triggered, while the rest sounds like it was recorded in a biscuit tin. The guitar tone is so icy; penguins would need to find warmer refuge. Still, "The Winter Wake" embodies the snow-chilled winds expected of this time of year, which would make it a fitting backdrop to the dissipated festive season. In summary, it is as cold as the name suggests. Having said that, like the weather, it changes over time and eventually, it seems to warm on you after repeated listens. You got your gloves and woolly hat ready?

Track Listing:
  1. Trow’s Kind
  2. Swallowtail
  3. The Winter Wake
  4. The Wanderer
  5. March of Fools
  6. On the Morning Dew
  7. Devil’s Carriage
  8. Rats Are Following
  9. Rouse Your Dream
  10. Neverending Nights
  11. Disillusion’s Reel
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