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Most technical death metal bands enjoy making music using there skills in music theory, this usually doesn't leave much room for emotion (Especially with how monotonous death metal is). All though this isn't an overly melodic affair, it still manages to convey it's concepts using less obvious methods, such as the keyboards, short clean vocal passages, clean guitar interludes and obviously the poetic (all though sometimes they are a bit... disjointed) meaningful lyrics.
Now this album is interesting, it combines so many elements so flawlessly that depending on perspective the album itself changes. For instance the music is intense,fast and merciless enough to simply see it as your usual aggressive death metal album. How ever if your more intent on atmosphere, this album will for-fill your needs. The guitar riffs almost always convey a sense of happiness and seriously enough it is beautiful to see that death metal and a sense of happiness have been combined. the drumming of Tomás Corn is very reminiscent of Flo Mounier, even during slower clean sections. From what I've heard his snare utilizes a natural skin and adds an entire new level of ambience. Although the guitar riffs may seem simple and at times a tad uninteresting, they are actually extremely difficult to play. Hearing such technically proficient riffs that most definitely express Ptoe's love and spiritually is truly remarkable. Ptoe's vocals are truly remarkable forget Lord Worm and Chris Barnes, Ptoe puts them both to shame although ultimately being very difficult to understand. But this simply adds to the atmosphere, the lyrics and the vocal growls together perfectly signify the connection between dark atmospheric music and death metal, beauty and brutality, primal and spiritual, light and dark. Although the bass can mostly be heard and it does do the music justice, it ultimately isn't anything of to much note.
Now let me focus more on the more atmospheric and spiritual elements of this album. The keyboards are never out of place and when they are playing there influence is always heard and felt within the music. As I've stated although the drums are fast and brutal they always add to the atmosphere, especially the natural skin snare drums. The clean vocals usually have a reverb effect, adding the same solemn feeling of religious chanting. Being masters of atmosphere they utilize their instruments to support these sombre sections. Ultimately it's tear-wrenchingly beautiful to see such instruments create such meaningful music. The next instruments of mention are the guitars of course. Although harsh, fast and brutal at most times, it is mostly very happy and even brakes into contemplative, reflective clean passages. But also into some of the most amazing Egyptian melodies I've even heard, Nile wishes they had such a comprehension of how to fuse Egyptian music and death metal.
All in all Elvenefris is at it's heart a spiritual experience. While most albums are aggression driven or are fueled by exploring concepts, Lykathea Aflame are fueled by there spiritual love, understanding and beliefs, to a point that this album seems to have a spirit within it's self. The lyrics are definitely one of the best parts of the music they speak of becoming more then ourselves, to finally return to the spiritual plane from which we came, the hardships of being truly loving to others, how tough it is to be so enduring through life, the frustration of not being all that we could be. A wise man once said "A truly good book isn't one that teaches us how to think but rather to question" Ultimately this what this music has made me do, and has taught me to be a better person.
So all in all it all depends on how you view the album. You could just blast it from start to finish and have fun with all the primal aggression found within the album. You could turn off all the lights and be enticed we the Egyptian melodies and reflective clean vocal, guitar and keyboard passages. Or you could play 'Walking In The Garden of Ma'at' first, think about the music, then listen to the rest of the album, read the lyrics and deeply understand the amazing amount of spiritual energy that has gone into this album. But no matter how you want to see the album it's obvious that this is the perfect combination of Nile-esque fast paced Egyptian death metal, ambience and a sense of true spiritual understanding and love.