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Masters in their own universe - 87%

kluseba, September 16th, 2012

Despite several line-up changes, Elvenking pick us up with "Era" where they have left us with with their last record "Red Silent Tides". The Italian band delivers a catchy mixture of power metal and their typical folk passages with a couple of contemporary tones in form of some electronic experiments or faster modern metal passages.

What we get are for example hard, fast and modern stuff as in the energizing opener "The Loser" that could come from their "The Scythe" record. Some peole might claim that this kind of music sounds too much like mallcore but I think that the Italians are definitely more diversified and also catchier than most of the bands of this genre and they even add their own trademarks to it and push the limits for this genre further than before.

The band also delivers some tracks with electronic experiments as in "We, Animals" tha could be from their international breakthrough release "The Winter Wake".

There are also some more laid back and minimalistic songs as the folk driven "The Time Of Your Life" where singer Damnagoras proves that his vocal skills have improved and sound more mature since the last release. This kind of music reminds a little bit of the band's first steps plus a more commercial potential. The band even includes a short folk driven ballad in form of "A Song For The People" or the closing instrumental bonus track "Ophale" on this release that fresh up the final result.

One of this album's highlights are though the new rock opera hints as in the highly diversified "Forget-me-not" featuring piano passages, radio rock riffs, choir and canon parts, passionate female vocals and the unique guest vocals delivered by Jon Oliva who also appears in the faster banger "I Am The Monster". This kind of music as well as the epic masterpiece "Chronicle Of A Frozen Era" could also directly come from a new Avantasia record. In the latter track, the band proves that they are truly skilled and actually underestimated musicians. This track contains many slightly changes and never gets boring but more and more energizing instead in almost seven minutes of running time. This song is easily among the best if not the best track the band has ever written. I actually even prefer the way how Elvenking approach this rock opera style as it sounds more elaborated, fresh and passionate than the latest Avantasia releases for example.

The band simply delivers a resumee of everything they stand for and even more on this release. Even though this record brings no big innovations and lacks of a truly catchy hit such as "The Cabal", "The Divided Heart" or "Trows Kind", especially as the track "Poor Little Baroness" that promoted this record is this definitely one of the few bad songs on here, this record is still creative enough in Elvenking's own universe to convince and even turns out to be among their best records. Fans of the band and those who would like to finally discover them should quickly pick up this very well done album.