Elvenking – The Winter’s Wake

elvenking_052206_wintersInitial spinning of this album indicated a Swedish location due to the thick guitar sound and twin guitar melodies often unearthed in that sector of the globe, but once I discovered that Elvenking was Italy based, I am once again amazed at how deeply the impact of Swedish metal has infected the globe. Musically, there’s a definite feeling of upbeat happiness flowing throughout the lengthy 11 songs which is to be expected from a power metal band, but add the virtuoso level of synth accompaniment (IE: using the keyboards at times like a solo instrument) and the energetic pitch singing and things really start to lose my interest. Mid-paced dominant music with various folk elements/instruments like a fiddle and acoustic guitar really offer a unique strain of musical influence when dealing with power metal, but once again, the feel good push of this material, as Elvenking attempt to lead us into their fantasy realm, finally makes me angry enough to be further bothered by all the trendy power metal staples that eventually enter this bands sound. Gang yelled chorus’ … jesus… It’s like nails on the chalkboard. Add uninteresting lyrical deliveries that follow the music to the point where each syllable is glued to every drum hit, or melodic movement in the guitar work. Even though the singer possesses a bluesy pitch style and refrains from falsetto wailing, his delivery still puts me in mind of the early 90’s glam era… add that to a heavy guitar tone and it’s 2 tastes that really sound fucked together. I can see connoisseurs of power metal really appreciating Elvenking for their musical diversity and somewhat more folked out approach to the genre, but really, I couldn’t wait for “The Winter’s Wake” to end and by mid album, really began to feel intolerant to this bands sound. Give me old Helloween, Gamma Ray and Blind Guardian. At least when they dig in with the cheesy elements found on every power metal album ever made, it seems much more acceptable to me since all the aforementioned bands helped create that style and backed it all up with aggression in their music and atmosphere. -Marty

~ by martyworm on January 3, 2009.

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