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I don’t think anything can match the disaster of a group’s selling out into trendy crap, especially when the band has created special reputations from past endeavors. Italy’s Elvenking had much more on their side than others as they incorporated strange violin harps amongst power metal barriers, yet in one foul decision, it all went away. Marking ten years in music and a departure from metal, “The Scythe” urinates over everything that could have, would have, and should have been. Basically, Elvenking’s fourth full-length effort glorifies mainstreamed tinges by repressing folk influences and power metal qualities, which results in minimal substance layered over the shit-eating grins of these fading Italians.
There is an obvious conclusion when listening to the release in question: it is not intended for metal fans at all. Instead, Elvenking thrusts into a very repetitive form of radio-friendly rock that only demonstrates half-assed riffing smeared across easy percussion and restrained bass playing; that’s the whole record in a sentence, respectively. “The Scythe” exercises somewhat heavy guitars throughout its duration, but any hope of finding other metallic properties quickly shrinks as the listener is constantly bombarded by poppy choruses, melodramatic vocals, and no-talent-necessary riffs. You might find a hydrating moment while traveling through Elvenking’s modernized desert; nevertheless, an oasis is nowhere in sight aside from minimal refreshment periods.
Musically, there’s no doubt “The Scythe” can terminate brain cells; however, Elvenking’s one-step song writing will eventually put all abusers in a zombie-like state if exposure isn’t cut off immediately. Every tune has the same encoding makeup in which a few verses are played before mindless choruses start up over and over again; this whole album is based around the said formula without any variation or intelligence. Also, one can expect stupid narrative interludes that dreadfully connect each track by contributing confusing rhymes while simultaneously omitting any meaningful purpose for the speaking bridges. Quite irrelevant and useless, but I guess retarded things tend to travel in clusters.
Elvenking really had something going with their past efforts, yet this creation shall always resemble an attempt to land on radio currents and fit in where they didn’t belong. Last time I checked, “The Scythe” wasn’t the center of attention for MTV or metalheads, so selling out didn’t do anything but piss off loyal fans awaiting classy folk-laden power metal; not quite what these clowns wanted on either spectrum. Ironically, “The Scythe” is a very fitting title as it quickly slices Elvenking’s legacy across the jugular until only some bloodied corpse remains rotting in an empty grave. Not sure about you, but I’ll be skipping the burial ceremony without question.