Elvenking - Era review
|Release date:||September 2012|
01. The Loser
02. I Am The Monster [feat. Jon Oliva]
03. Midnight Skies, Winter Sighs
04. A Song For The People
06. Through Wolf's Eyes
07. Walking Dead
09. Poor Little Baroness
10. The Time Of Your Life
11. Chronicle Of A Frozen Era
13. Khanjar [deluxe edition bonus]
14. Grey Inside [limited Digipak edition bonus]
15. I Am The Monster [Damna's vocals only] [limited Digipak edition bonus]
Elvenking seem to have fun in alternating great albums with releases which, without being Lulus, still disappoint a bit. I mean: after the great The Winter Wake came the pretty forgettable The Scythe, and the same happened for Two Tragedy Poets and its successor Red Silent Tides. This should be the turn of the great album, have the Italian folk metallers maintained this trend?
They totally have. Honestly, I was quite worried about this album when the first single - "Poor Little Baroness", a totally average song at first glance - came out. It seemed to me that the band was following the same bourgeois tendencies which ruled in Red Silent Tides. Luckily, I was wrong.
This is an album which, in many ways, reminded me of The Winter Wake. Elvenking retrieved their folk soul, but not simply a revival of past years. They melt together many genres, making the most of the various experiences achieved: in this album are easily noticeable power, emo/metalcore and modern metal influences.
The band's real merit has been to mix everything perfectly, forging a coherent yet variegated piece of art, that enchants from beginning to end. This album avoids the limit that is often found in many power metal releases: to lose its legs in the second half. On the contrary, the middle part, from "We, Animals" to "Walking Dead", is easily the best of the whole album, and can summarize the various faces of Era, by varying in style and themes.
The guys never disappointed in the instrumental parts, and show once again their mastery through two enjoyable instrumental tracks: "Ophale" and "Khanjar". Special mention to new drummer Symohn's work: really skillful and varied, able to carry the entire song alone.
Last, but not the least, the lyrics. This is a realm in which Elvenking's lyricists always show the best of themselves, and Era is no exception. Lyrics-wise, this is a darker album then the previous ones, and it's also more intense and introspective. Many songs deal with human nature and condition, often with a negative and pessimistic view, and the only two songs which speak about love are "Through Wolf's Eyes" - a reinterpretation of the well-known fairy-tale of "Little Red Riding Hood", seen through the unlucky wolf's point of view - and the aforesaid "Poor Little Baroness", which deals with love in a obscure and quite cynical way.
Overall, this is an album which totally deserves every folk/power lover's attention, great in accessibility and freshness. Let's just hope Elvenking has started a new Era, in which they will succeed in composing two consecutive quality albums.
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| R Lewis
That Useless Guy
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