|Review: Elvenking - Red Silent Tides|
|Red Silent Tides|
Label: AFM Records
Year released: 2010
Genre: Power Metal
Review online: February 20, 2011
Reviewed by: Adam Kohrman
for:Red Silent Tides
Rated 3.73/5 (74.55%) (11 Votes)
Elvenking has been a band I've enjoyed watching progress (and regress) over the years. Whether they're being lauded or lambasted, their artistry has always been genuine. Even on their more commercial output, you can tell that it's not done to please an audience, but is legitimate. Their last album ranked among the top of the year for me, while their previous outing The Scythe was their career's unquestionable nadir. Here we are with their newest record Red Silent Tides, and in true Elvenking style, it sounds very genuine and honest. Sadly, it also sounds stale, repetitive, and sometimes annoying. I almost feel mean saying this about band that clearly follows their heart, but this is not a strong outing for the folk metallers.
Elvenking have opted for a poppier, catchy, and almost a modernized 80s sound. This sounds like if Pretty Maids decided to add folk metal influences to their sound, but it instead sounded limp and tepid. There are a handful of good riffs on here, and Elvenking are always skilled at making simple melodies memorable and engaging. But here, those melodies get old fast, and painfully cookie-cutter. Damnagoras' vocals become grating by the end of the album, too glossy and emotionless. It lacks the rhythm and awareness that he had on Two Tragedy Poets. Here, he fails to aid the song; instead, laying out melodies over them that most of the time offer no emotional resonance or assistance.
Red Silent Tides isn't all bad. "Dawnmelting" has a catchy main riff and "The Cabal" is just as memorable as the great songs from their early output. But this album is a major step down, for sure. But to me this is a band that is all out of steam. Their heyday is over, and while they still are acting on honest inspiration, that sound has become tired and stolid. This album is nothing short of unfortunate.
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