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Two revolutionary and nine good average songs - 74%

kluseba, October 22nd, 2010

Elvenking play a mixture of power metal and folk music with some little progressive, thrash or death influences that are not yet that present on this album.

This album was my introduction to the band. The first song of this album, "Trows kind" was the first song I've known from them and when I first listened to it, I thought that this song was too fast, too hectically and too overloaded. But when I listened another few times to this song - that was on a compilation album of the famous German Rock Hard magazine that I had bought - this song extremely grew on me. There are so many changes in style in this song that you could almost call it a progressive one. Choirs, melodic chants, growling, whispering, spoken words and female vocals are present in this song just to mention the vocal diversity of this song. That creates a very unique sound.

The title track "The winter wake" is another experimental song with Schmier from the German Thrash Metal Band Destruction on the vocals. This songs surprises with an electronically influenced introduction before it is based on harsh vocals and bass guitar riffs. The typical power and folk elements of the band are only added a little bit later and this song sounds quite unique.

The other nine songs present mostly very solid ("March of fools") to rather average power folk songs ("Rouse your dream") but sometimes, the band creates too many kitsch lyrics and choruses that are not that much profound and heavy ("Swallowtail"). It is nice to listen to those songs and especially the first half of the album is very catchy, but too many songs go into rather the same direction what is a sad thing, because the two outstanding songs are the most interesting ones and I have waited for more after that.

If the band would have gone in the very original direction of the opener and the title track, this album would have been something revolutionary and extremely interesting. But as final result, I must say that this is a well done average power folk metal album with two very interesting experimental songs.