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Review: Elis - Catharsis

Label: Napalm Records
Year released: 2009
Duration: 48:58
Tracks: 11
Genre: Gothic Metal

Rating: 2.5/5

Review online: November 6, 2011
Reviewed by: Bruce Dragonchaser
Readers Rating

Rated 3/5 (60%) (4 Votes)

Elis had a rough time of it in 2006, when their vocalist Sabine Dünser collapsed and later died of a cerebral hemorrhage. They spent the next couple of years dusting themselves off, debating whether to carry on, and finally releasing Catharsis in 2009, the culmination of all their frustrations. Forgetting about the album's history for a second, this is a staple release in the Gothic Metal genre: beauty and the beast vocals, plodding, drowsy guitars, the odd double-bass flourish, and pseudo-symphonic keys that keep you from nodding off. There are moments, such as the pelting "Core Of Life", which opens the album, that make you sit up and stop drooling over the promo picture of former Eyes Of Eden vocalist Sandra Schleret. These segments are hard-hitting, riff-orientated metal, overlaid with Sandra's wailing soprano, calling to mind the most captivating moments of Sirenia.

Naturally, when Elis kicks it into gear like this, Catharsis is an enjoyable listen, but their dirge sections are painfully boring, and plagiaristic to the extreme. If Gothic Metal is your poison, this could be the best thing you hear all year. Those looking for a little innovation in their female-fronted antics should check out the new Nemesea or latest Edenbridge instead.

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