|Review: Elvenking - Era|
Label: AFM Records
Year released: 2012
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: December 11, 2012
Reviewed by: Christopher Foley
Elvenking are an act who you can damn near depend on never releasing the same album twice. Some of their experiments in the past might have turned some listeners off, although I feel a lot of us can happily agree Red Silent Tides was a step in the right direction. Here on the band's seventh full-length, Era, Elvenking continue that journey in the right direction and present to us what might just be their finest hour.
As far as the initial sound is concerned here on Era I would have to say the record sounds like an amalgamation of everything Elvenking have done well to date. From the delightful folk melodies that earned them fans in the first place, to the more melodic splendor of the last album, Era has this kind of all encompassing feel and would thus stand as an ideal starting point for new comers. Damna's vocals are on top form, and he is joined by the mountain king himself Jon Oliva who guests on a couple of tracks. Speaking of which there is a strange Savatage vibe which creeps its way into tracks like "Midnight Skies, Winter Sighs" and the superlative "Forget-Me-Not". This is a seriously good touch, whether it was intentional or not is another story, regardless I was smiling from ear to ear when that counterpoint in "Forget-Me-Not" kicked in.
The songwriting on the whole comes across as fairly mature here, although the band clearly haven't forgotten how to let loose and have fun, and it shows in tracks such as "The Loser" the rollicking "Through Wolf's Eyes" and the bombastic "Chronicle Of A Frozen Era" which is amongst the finest songs the band has penned. It's come to the point where I'd seriously class Elvenking as a first-rate act, and for my money this is a damn fine example of how to incorporate folk into metal. This should be high on the to buy list for any power metal fan, with cracking production, ace performances and a charming selection of songs Elvenking are on to a winner. Recommended!
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