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Review: Elle Tea - Fate Is at My Side
Elle Tea
Fate Is at My Side

Label: Independent
Year released: 2023
Duration: 32:00
Tracks: 7
Genre: Heavy Metal

Rating: 3/5

Review online: June 3, 2023
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers Rating
Fate Is at My Side

Rated 4/5 (80%) (6 Votes)

I have to admit, the cover of Fate Is at My Side is what drew me to reviewing this band. It has such a Crystal Logic look that combined with the esoteric name, Elle Tea, and all the '80s hard rock and heavy metal influences listed in the bio had me thinking Manilla Road. While there are similarities, they are few and far between as Elle Tea's music tracks closer to hard rock, especially the vocals. I would still call them unusual, but not nearly as esoteric or distinctive as Mark Shelton's. They are more of a serviceable clean variety with a directness to the vocal lines. As I said, there are a few Manilla Road dovetails. "Part of the Devil" has similarly off-kilter lyrics and guitar work alternating between slow, moody passages and rolling, rambling riffs. "Burning Soul" starts out with the same kind of pensive acoustic guitar Manilla Road was known for ("The Fountain" from Mysterium is what jumped to my mind initially), but it quickly turns into a hard rocker. At the end of the day, Fate Is at My Side is OK. I didn't hate it while it was on, but it is plain and unexciting much of the time. The best way I can describe how it landed for me is if Manilla Road was more influenced by Blue Oyster Cult and less by Rush. It does not sound like everything else, so I'll give it that. It was originally recorded back in 2017 so maybe Trevisan has sharpened his songwriting in the intervening years and will be releasing an improved effort. Until then, Elle Tea is not doing anything you need to get excited about.

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