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Symphonic, Powerful, Progressive...Insane!!! - 86%

BudDa, September 28th, 2009

OMfG! This kind of reminds me of the first time I listened to To-mera's Transcendental but not quite. Its like something you have grown accustomed to, might actually think its the norm then bands like Legenda Aurea comes along and show you something not entirely different but unique!! Something that pushes boundaries and break borders. Some and mark my words, SOME but not all, of the preconceived notions about symphonic power/symphonic progressive metal here are broken. If not, they are just refined. For those of you who know this band and have listened to their previous effort-Sedna will notice one major change. Simone Christinat replaces Claudia Hofer as vocalist of the band.

There is no particular formula followed here. Ok. keyboard filled moments-yes, power/heavy guitar riffing-yes, epic-ish ambiance-absolutely, however, the musical structure varies. OMfG, A drum roll here, a crunchy riff there, a bass line experience here, a soft touch there. All this rolled and delivered over awesome somewhat semi classical vocals. Still no idea what am talking about?! Check out track no 2, which for me is the highlight of this album. It is broken up into 3 parts. It starts off with a lovely mixture of keyboards and heavy riffing which seems to go on forever until we are graced by Simone's lovely vocals. At this time, the mixture I talked about has disappeared but only shortly as Simone makes her presence felt. It comes back briefly again only for it now to breakdown to a combination of hard hitting drum work and intricate bass lines. Towards the end, there is a short pause only for the song to return..seeing again the introduction of the keyboards, played with the same finesse as before but unlike at the start when they were mixed with the heavy riffing, now, they are with the bass Its the most awesome thing you'll hear on this album. Another crazy part on this album can be found in Superbia at around 5:05 with a lovely keyboard-synth moment which gives way to a mini guitar solo which in turn gives way to the second most awesome keyboard solo (the first, of course, being on Purgatory) you'll hear on this album. Amidst that there is again hard hitting-head banging drums and rolls which give way to a guitar solo played neo-classical style!! And the surprises just keep on coming. Fuck me! Check out Purgatory which sounds like something ripped out of Blotted Science’s The Machinations of Dementia rather than a symphonic progressive metal band’s discography!

Ellipsis is a host of twists and turns. The album clocks just over one hour long. Its actually more progressive than it is power! Simone makes sure she doesn't go 'over the top'. Unlike some classical (trained or untrained) vocalists, she keeps her vocals in check and only slightly hitting the high notes when necessary. Usually, these kind of operatic/semi operatic vocals would fit perfectly with a more classical approach to proceedings..right? WRONG!! what Legenda Aurea have done is they have kept the keyboards to a minimum and given center stage to the drums and bass. Especially the drums, because they are loud and in your face hence instead of the album sounding more classical..it sounds heavy as fuck!! This said though, there are times when this band manages to strike a balance like on track F44.8. I love the groove riff that kicks in at around 1:35. When the keyboards are unleashed a few seconds after..the track still manages to sound heavy but at the same time symphonic. Somewhere in the middle on the song, it is mixed with synth making it sound nothing short of EPIC. Speaking of groovy riffs, check out the beginning of Abscondance Pt I. Its fast, it rules and its probably the only part on this album I felt Simone shouldn't have sung!

The closest thing to symphonic power you are going to get here is in the form of Discouraged. The closest you are going to get to symphonic gothic, is in the form of Abscondance Pt II, which I must say is a fabulous track. Otherwise, this album pretty much writes its own course. Symphonic, power, thrashy, heavy, progressive. There is almost something for everyone in Ellipsis..why there are even some harsh male vocals on Outbreak!