without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
I'm still arguing why I prefer and like AS more than their new age-space-brutal death reincarnation Lykathea Aflame. Maybe I'll risk to be lynched by someone out there, but in my humble point of view I see Elvenferis like a re-proposal of this work done with a more love for the new age and oriental cultures for its continue empashis on the atmospherical overtones. Surely their new sound gives an original overview and a touch of weirdness, but I'm still barely trying to like it. FH&F is the real soul of the band: a monolithic and solid piece of 35 minutes of technical/experimental brutal deathgrind, which has not shame to give out their melodic and progressive soul. "My Heaven", "Sublime Fury" and "Messengers" are one of the most prominent examples to give an idea about the material of what this work is done: the first one is an avant-garde experimentation of technical convulsiveness where the grind kalashnikov meets the atmospheric guitar wall-o-sound game, which will became the soundmark of the next band's works; the second and third sound more like a melodic death vs brutal death fight, where melodic guitars continuously fights against the abrasive and brutal death mountain which collapses on them without stopping: melodic solos flow in this in inexorable grinding river just like lacerated screams. A more positive synestethical imagery could be provided by "By Sword & Heart" and "Voyage to Inward Freedom", tracks which could have been hypothetical sons of Gorguts and In Flames who would have babies together and then get raised by Cryptopsy: production is sick and it gives a 90's retro DYI feeling, drumming is frenetic and unstoppable. Where melodies have no place, all goes on like "Celestian" o "Self Monarch" and "Open Arms of Celestial Home", in which technicality fights with brutality and experimentation in vein of their north-american cousins. An overall analysis of this record ends with a good vote which reassumes of it's made of: band is talented, nothing to add; production isn't the best; lyrics are quite pathetical; tracks are original, technical, well done and played, but there's the typical gap of the tech brutal death bands: playing the intricated. We saw this characteristic on various other works of other bands which confirms the continuos focusing on weirdness, complex rythms, unusual composition structures, leaving the rest doing its part automatically. Fortunately Appalling Spawn (now Lykathea Aflame) never forgot leaving to melodies their space, and this happened on the next albums done, where this undertaken line has never been deserted.
Freedom, Hope And Fury is an onslaught of awesome music from beginning to end. After hearing the greatness of Elvenefris last year, I immediately checked out their previous band Appalling Spawn. Now that I've logged in many listens to this album, it still holds up as better than 99% of other death metal albums out there. Although Tomas Corn is absent on this album, the drumming itself is still quite good. Just listen to tracks like By Sword & Heart to know what I'm talking about. The intro to Manthra Of Hope, which is also the intro to the whole album itself, is probably my all-time favorite one. The growl is angry as hell and leads right into a badass riff. Ptoe's growls are great; they match the intensity of the music perfectly.
Appalling Spawn certainly doesn't garner the attention that it also deserves. Elvenefris made it partially fall to the wayside. That's a shame because Freedom, Hope And Fury by itself is a masterpiece and should be treated so. Every song on this album is chock full of incredible riffs that range from brutal to highly melodic. The abundance of riffs means that the songs never get boring. My Heaven is probably my favorite song on the album. The beginning riff kicks so much ass and they do some cool things on the bass throughout the song. The slow part at 0:55 is great too as Ptoe growls along, which is used twice in the song. The buildup to the riff at 1:39 also slays and is my favorite part of the song. The solos in Freedom, Hope And Fury are all excellent and portray the technical guitar playing skills of Ptoe and the rest of the group. The intensity on this album is unmatched; these guys had a vision and they ran with it. The ambient interlude Azure Waters Of Inthera is also a perfect break and sets a nice atmosphere. I do wish that this album could have been longer. At 35 minutes long it's only half the length of the colossal and epic Elvenefris. Now if only I could find the Bestial, Mystical & Spritual (The First Spawn) demo which I've been madly looking for for awhile then I'd be content to have all of the musical output of the great Petr Tomanek. The cover art is also brilliant and was done by Deather who does other death metal band art. Everyone else who hasn't heard Freedom, Hope And Fury needs to go check this out now.
Ah, the predecessor of the miraculous, if very short-lived, Lykathea Aflame. Here we see the beginning of Ptoe’s musical dimensions and the path he eventually took with Elvenefris.
The main difference one will notice immediately is the drumming. Tomas Corn (the exceptionally talented skin-master who played on Elvenefris) is absent on this release. He didn’t join the band until the name changed, so instead we have decent but comparatively straight-forward drum work. Yes, Tomas has indeed spoiled me, and I’m sure many other fans of Elvenefris.
Freedom, Hope & Fury is also a lot simpler structurally than Elvenefris. As a result the chorus’ often come down to Ptoe growling the song title repeatedly. The riffs also only hint at what the band did on Elvenefris, and thus feel underdeveloped similarly. However what is here is still wonderfully original, and provides atmosphere through its melodic tinges from clean vocals, clean guitar or synths. These are used sparingly though so don’t worry about being less brutal because this band explores a bit.
Overall this is a solid slab of original death/grind that is sure to appeal to many familiar with the genre and enjoy some slight deviation from the norm.
Lykathea Aflame were an amazing band with an amazing album. However, I have doubts about the "new" album they will be releasing under their new name. Without Ptoe, where will be the outrageously angry vocals? Will it foray into gothic territory with the addition of a husband and wife (sister and brother...?) on vocals? Will the drumming be restricted by the (once) great Toma Corn? So many questions, and with so little information, who wouldn't speculate about the band's future?
This is where it all began. Appalling Spawn, the now defunct project starring Ptoe on vocals without the aid of Toma Corn on drumming with more simple and indifferent song structuring, released this one album before splitting and becoming Lykathea Aflame. This is their original onslaught of bestial, primal fury, and what a fucking onslaught it is. With tracks such as 'Manthra of Hope' (beginning with the most ANGRY SOUNDING GROWL EVER), 'Sublime Fury' (with the great mellow interlude providing an atmosphere for the album), 'Azure Waters of Inthera' (the incredibly well placed break-in-the-madness "ambient" track), 'By Sword & Heart' (with the great drum intro and the melodic overtones), and 'Selfmonarch' (with the ferocious chorus...SELFMONARCHSELFMONARCHSELFMONARCHSELFMONARCH!)
The drumming isn't the same without Toma Corn, and loses a few points because the music isn't as brutal or majestic as some of the stuff off Elvenefris. But from a solitary standpoint, if this was released by any other band, the rating would still stand. This is a varied, melodic, and did I mention ANGRY album.
The riffage is great, it goes from grinding to melodic in less than the blink of an eye (ear?), and the band switches up riffs and has great breakdowns at times.
I felt obligated to review this, to give some people the opinion of someone who thought Elvenefris was a masterpiece (which it undoubtedly was), and now I feel obligated to tell you that this is an AMAZING piece of work.