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I wouldn’t call it metal - 86%

linkavitch, April 10th, 2009

So about two years ago or so Elvenking released their album “The Scythe” which turned out to be nothing more than just modern metal, and it made the band look like a bunch of sellouts if anything. So after that bad album came out Elvenking decided to release an acoustic (mostly) album to bring the folk metal back into Elvenking. But is it metal? No not really.

The majority of the album is an acoustic album, with acoustic guitars, drums, violins, and so on. They still use electric guitars for some of the songs, only three songs or so have electric guitar parts to them. The nice feature that the three songs have is that the electric guitar isn’t the main focus of the songs. The main focus on most of the songs would be the violin. Not many bands that are considered to play folk use a violin, usually when I think of folk metal I think of someone with an accordion, or a lute, or a instrument in that vain.

The other main focus I find with this album would be the vocals. They’re very clean throughout the whole album, no harsh vocals or anything like that, although there’s a harsh scream in the song “The Blackest of My Hearts” that feels out of place. This isn’t anything like power metal or whatnot so you won’t hear any high notes, or low notes for that matter. The vocals done by Damnagoras are basically middle ranged, so don’t expect anything outstanding from him, their just light folk like vocals.

Interesting enough, they have a lot of keyboard parts in this album. Not just classical piano which blends in with some songs, but like cheesy 80’s keyboard parts also. When the keyboard is used like cheesy power metal song would use it feels misplaced and can ruin the song. Every time the keyboard part comes up in the song “Heaven is a Place on Earth” (which is a cover song) it just ruins the song for me, which sucks because it occurs rather early in the song (ten seconds in or so). When they use it as if a somewhat classical approach it sounds rather nice, even if one of the songs it’s used in (“She Lives at Dawn”) is just a filler track.

Speaking of filler, hate it when this happens, but they got some filler tracks in here. When I first looked at the song listing I fought the two remake songs “The Winter Wake (Acoustic Version)” and “The Wanderer (Acoustic Version)” would be the fillers. I always think that covers, remakes, and some intros/outros are always fillers. The only reason that I don’t find them to be filler tracks this time would be because I had never heard the original version of those songs, and they sound pretty good for remakes. Now those aren’t the filler tracks but the filler tracks are “Heaven is a Place on Earth”. It’s a cover so it already is one, and it has that annoy keyboard section in the beginning that bugs me. The other filler tracks are “Ask a Silly Question” and “She Lives at Dawn”. They just use the same annoying chorus line on “Ask a Silly Question” (something about the missionary position or whatever).

This isn’t really a metal album at all. It’s more like some light folk rock with a few pop elements here and there that don’t totally blow. I always get the feeling that you would find some music like this being played in some Irish pub or whatnot. Anyways this is a pretty good album, even though it’s not really metal or true folk music for that matter.