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I…just don’t know what to say about this. Yes, it is about as bad as people will tell you. Yes, the band did probably smoke large quantities of paint thinner before writing this. And yes, it is apparently intended to be taken seriously.
I don’t know. I…just don’t know anymore. I mean, this is what they thought would be acceptable to release to their fans? Elvenking fans? You know…the band that appeals to all of the folk metal pussies who listen to bands like Rhapsody, Korpiklaani and Sonata Arctica exclusively? Not that there’s anything THAT wrong with that, but…you must understand where I’m coming from with this. Just, gah, listen to “Poison Tears.” Pop-punk vocal lines, metalcore chugging and violins all in one song? It’s too much; I need to pause it and get my act together! I can’t stop laughing!
Okay. Okay, I’m going to try and collect myself in order to properly review Elvenking’s The Scythe. As difficult as that may be, I’m going to do it, and give this album the proper thrashing it damn well deserves. Just listening to one song off of this makes me want to hurt people, how am I supposed to get through an hour of it? But I digress… let’s swallow our dignity and try to get through this without reaching for the pause button again.
Elvenking apparently decided, upon the return of resident drag queen Damnagoras to their fold, that they were going to stop being cool and write music that appealed to people who liked My Chemical Romance. Except with a violin. And metalcore-inspired guitar playing. You know, things that have nothing to do with My Chemical Romance or any kind of popular mainstream radio fodder. Things that make no sense together, and things that you’d think a combination of would be, well, completely batshit insane. Are you following this? Because apparently Elvenking couldn’t.
I mean there’s creativity and then there’s stupidity, and this album crosses the line pretty fucking quick – as in, by track 2. You can’t just mash together anything you want and assume it will sound good without, you know, actual effort to the songwriting. And you can’t have it both ways between playing commercially infested drivel and third-rate Power Metal, either – Elvenking would do well to realize this, and pick a side quickly, because I can’t take much more of this. The immature angst that this has just make it even worse. Songs are titled stupid things like “Dominhate” or “Poison Tears.” Grow some balls; goddamn! The level of testosterone on here is about as plentiful as the number of good twists in an M. Night Shyamalan movie. And that isn’t very high, for those who were wondering!
The music itself is unpleasant and ridiculous, jumbling heavy, obnoxious guitars with a very out of place violin; do they just keep him in the band now because he’s related to their parents’ friends or something? Damnagoras is just silly, perhaps the silliest on here, although that’s really not an easy contest to judge. His usual stuffy-nosed attempts at emoting are diluted into the most basic, lowest common denominator possible. Nothing he sings sounds the least bit convincing, and the poppy, uber-listenable sheen of his melodies just make it all the more nauseating. The band cycles through goofy melodies and asininely simplistic bashing guitars on ass-fests like “Infection,” “Dominhate,” the wimpy, groove-tastic “Death and the Suffering” and the especially shitty “Romance and Wrath,” which not only has awful tradeoffs between harsh and clean vocals and some truly wretched melodic ideas, but at the end of the song, we get the weirdest vocal sound effect that sounds like someone belching up their lunch into a vocoder…that’s the best way I can describe it. Why? Who knows, who cares, this album blows.
I mean, what the fuck do you want me to say? I mean they really thought anyone would actually like this? Even the worst of mall-core kiddies aren’t that stupid! This album is a joke! It’s crazy in the worst way possible. A folk power metal band writing poppy alt-emo-metalcore with violins and shitty narration to open up every song? The jokes, the criticisms, the scathing diatribes write themselves! Fuck, I think I’m having a mental breakdown. Oh, I forgot about the narration, didn’t I? Yes, yes, apparently aside from the goofy-ass music, the band decided they wanted to have some douchebag recite horrendous poetry at the beginning and end of most of these songs, in a perfectly dead-pan American accent that sounds about as nerdy as a Star Wars convention held in a World of Warcraft player’s basement…fuck it, I’m just going to go break things until I calm down.
This is…bad. This is really bad, guys – right up there with the worst of ‘em. People will ask how a band like Elvenking could possibly come up with something like this, but really they were never a good band anyway, and The Scythe is living proof of that, rather than some kind of black spot on their supposedly good record like their boneheaded fans will tell you. Here we have a band with no huge lineup changes, no transition album, and THIS is what they put out. The very fact that Elvenking made this album should be enough to convince people not to keep supporting them, because no band of any remote morsel of quality could ever come out with anything this dumb, this silly. I don’t even know why people liked them that much to begin with; it isn’t like they ever did anything genre-defining, or like they were ever that good in the first place. But I guess I shouldn’t expect much from the masses anyway.
I’m going to have to give this a zero – if not for the awful music, then for the implications of it all. On no level of artistic appreciation is The Scythe worth my time. This is painful, and even the unintentional humor behind it doesn’t last that long. Everything about this sucks, from the terrible, heinous combination of music to the insulting implication that people would find this in any way charming, entertaining or enjoyable. What a load of ass! This is so bad that I’d even say it’s a good argument in favor of abortion, or even just safe sex – nothing of worth can be derived from the seeds that would produce an album like this. One of the rare albums where I actually wished harm on the band members after listening to it. People, this is rock bottom. Do not listen to this, do not support this band, do not ever condone anything in their name again.