Elvenking

Red Silent Tides

Written by: PP on 18/11/2010 01:41:53

My fellow scribe TL reviewed Elvenking a couple of years ago and found it rather average. Fast forward to this September and the band are at it again with a new album called "Red Silent Tides", and while it's no average affair like the album before it, it still succumbs to way too many power metal clichés to be much better either. Or does the following not sound like it could apply to literally any power metal band from Germany ever to have existed: majestic sound and epic, colossal soundscapes, instrumentally extremely proficient, and lead by a classic, 80s style clean vocalist to who the word is just not enough. Yawn.

Luckily, Elvenking attempt to deviate from the generic formula by combining elements from folk metal into this mixture. Every now and then the tempo changes into a fast folk rhythm, or an awesome high-flying violin assault takes place. These are the moments when I wake up and start paying attention again after nearly dosing off due to the sheer similarity to everyone else in the genre. To use some hyperbole: every time Elvenking lead out with a folk metal atmosphere or guitars, they are about ten thousand times better than the standard big riff big sound big boredom otherwise known as power metal. Thing is, I don't even hate power metal, I just despise the lowest common denominator in the genre that gets crushed to pieces time and time again by bands like Helloween, Gamma Ray, and even Dragonforce at times.

"The Last Hour" is the best track here, and one of the only pieces with an actual chorus that I considered listening to again and again and...again. It's awesome. There are other brief glimpses of hope (see "Runereader" for instance), and of course all the folksy passages I mentioned earlier, that rescue Elvenking from mediocrity. It just puzzles me that the band don't go all in on folk metal since that's clearly the genre they are strongest at based on "Red Silent Tides" alone.

6

Download: The Last Hour,
For the fans of: Falconer, Spellblast, Power Quest
Listen: Myspace

Release date 17.09.2010
AFM Records

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