Rating:
8.0
Elvenking - The Pagan Manifesto
9 May 2014


01. The Manifesto
02. King Of The Elves
03. Elvenlegions
04. The Druid Ritual Of Oak
05. Moonbeam Stone Circle
06. The Solitaire
07. Towards The Shores
08. Pagan Revolution
09. Grandier's Funeral Pyre
10. Twilight Of Magic
11. Black Roses For The Wicked One
12. Witches Gather


For fans of Elvenking's early days, what's written in The Pagan Manifesto is guaranteed to bring back some fond memories, as much as create new ones. Their latest album is a welcome return to their roots whilst offering something entirely fresh and promising.

Folk elements have always been a guiding light to Elvenking's style, a light which has waned for them following their earlier studio efforts, the debut and it's follow-up being thoroughly folk in inclination. Things haven't been as ground in both folk as well as power metal since the The Winter Wake, and the band are clearly demonstrating themselves and the early basis of their sound here; their power metal thrives once again on their eighth album, its convincing use of folk instrumentation being a long time coming for those who appreciated the band's first two efforts. Sure, they had something of a purer folky flashback in Two Tragedy Poets, but not only are they revisiting their past in The Pagan Manifesto, but they're restating it for the here and now. It's both fresh and nostalgic, an ideal combination with which to renew their creativity.

Like all good power metal of this kind, the frivolous nature is apparent in the folk frolic of the song writing here, and a carefree attitude which is designed for pure enjoyment is held firmly in place by some serious edge and evident experience in melody, of which the band finally reinforces with the folk backbone they've always had, but failed in recent efforts to represent as authentically as they have here. "The Druid Ritual Of Oak" is textbook Skyclad acknowledgement placed in a power metal song structure, and it's pieces such as this that strengthens their folk roots all the more.

Opening the album with a short intro followed by a thirteen minute track is one sure way to tell us something has changed in Elvenking's approach. Standing as their longest piece to date "King Of Elves" is found in a venerable position at the forefront of the album, proclaiming not only a real return to the folk metal of their past but also a refreshing demonstration of their writing metal according to both power and folk metal structures. Inspiration really seems to have come their way at long last.

The guitar leads and vocals, both backing and those of front man Moras, are full of hooks amongst the renewed and revisited folk strength, which manages to completely revitalise the band's style on this album. The folk elements, best demonstrated by the violin, are all incorporated as essential aspects of the song writing, rather than as superfluous afterthoughts or add-ons, which makes for a much more convincing and lively listen. The power metal choruses and guitar lines can only benefit from this renewal, resulting in one of the band's best efforts to date.

This release demonstrates above all else that the band still know their strengths, upon which they've welcomely refocused for The Pagan Manifesto.

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 9


Band profile: Elvenking
Album: The Pagan Manifesto


 



Written on 09.06.2014 by
R'Vannith
R'Vannith enjoys music, he's hoping you do too.
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R Lewis - 09.06.2014 at 09:00  
Again, I'd have been more generous, but I agree with almost everything you said here. There are some great tunes here, both in the power and folk realm, "The Pagan Revolution" being an example.
Teravolt_Danny - 10.06.2014 at 01:40  
Haha, ironically, the 2 songs the reviewer made an example of are, IMO, two of the weaker tracks on the album. =D

I'm not sure how people compare this to their first albums. The only similarity is that they are both folk, But to me, the melodies and ESPECIALLY the newer singer sounds much different.

Anyway, I really like the new album... possibly their best yet. "Grandier's Funeral Pyre" is one of the catchiest choruses I've ever heard in any musical genre.
mikeprado30 - 10.06.2014 at 05:40  
Written by Teravolt_Danny on 10.06.2014 at 01:40

I'm not sure how people compare this to their first albums. The only similarity is that they are both folk, But to me, the melodies and ESPECIALLY the newer singer sounds much different.

Just remember that Damna is the singer in their first album the majestic Heathenreel And in his absence (maybe for sickness) Kleid entered the band for Wyrd, returning Damna for their best album IMHO: The Winter Wake.

About this album, I said it before, if this one doesn't rejoice so many fans with the band (specially the ones who where disappointed with Red Silent Tides and Era) I don't know get a bloody idea for what they will want from those guys...
Teravolt_Danny - 10.06.2014 at 08:30  
Written by mikeprado30 on 10.06.2014 at 05:40

Written by Teravolt_Danny on 10.06.2014 at 01:40

I'm not sure how people compare this to their first albums. The only similarity is that they are both folk, But to me, the melodies and ESPECIALLY the newer singer sounds much different.

Just remember that Damna is the singer in their first album the majestic Heathenreel And in his absence (maybe for sickness) Kleid entered the band for Wyrd, returning Damna for their best album IMHO: The Winter Wake.

About this album, I said it before, if this one doesn't rejoice so many fans with the band (specially the ones who where disappointed with Red Silent Tides and Era) I don't know get a bloody idea for what they will want from those guys...


I just don't find their first albums catchy. They aren't bad, but none of the songs stuck in my mind when I heard them. The new album, however, is amazing. Every song could be a single... you know, if we lived in a world where singles didn't always suck.

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