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The Elysian Fields is easily one the most overlooked bands, especially amongst a genre that produces a lot of gutter crap. Sympho Black has a small following compared to "kvlt" black metal, and worse yet, there are a lot of shitty bands that try to do so. Im not saying these bands dont have talent, its just a very hard sound to attempt.
Somehow though The Elysian Fields goes overlooked when the sympho black they do make is quite good. 12 Ablaze is their third full length cd out of four. And is arguably their second best next the cd put out before it, We... The Enlightened. The best thing about 12 Abalze is the ammount of instruments put fourth to create the Elysian Fields sound. Harpsicord, Piano, Organ, you name it, they will most likely add it in there somewhere, and as in previous releases they have this one damn electronica sound that should ruin the song, but instead adds a tastefull touch.
The only problem I cn point put is how slow the tempo gets at times. In certain parts it works and others it doesent. For example, on A Serenade Like Blood Caress, the slower guitar rythem is hypnotic and the rawness of the guitar gives a doomish feel at times. But in Rapture and the Morning, the keys take to much of the center stage. The song itself isint bad, in fact when the tempo picks up its sounds like one of the better songs on the album, think a faster Therion.
All in all this is a worthy release, and for fans of sympho black its a release that cant be over looked, no fan will be dissapointed with 12 Ablaze.
Impressed was the first emotion I've felt after listening to 12 Ablaze. I consider this album one of the most creative piece of music I have ever encountered. It surpasses We...The Enlightened in many ways. How is that possible knowing that We...The Enlightened was a magnum opus? The mixture of different instruments (such as the flute, violin, piano, etc.) creates a dark ambiance and the blazing black metal parts enhance just that ambiance to the nth degree. 12 Ablaze will definitely send shivers down your spine with majestic orchestration and relentless tremolos. Everything blends in so well and the songs are refreshing.
I do not see any negative points to this release. 12 Ablaze is very similar to We...The Enlightened compositionally but everything is pushed further. It borders perfection in terms of recording and content. The epic theme is combined to the music beautifully. I do enjoy this album for the blasting and arcane black metal (it remains true to the genre's standard) but the the slower, more melodic elements do add another dimension to the package.
12 Ablaze will an excellent addition to your black metal library (and so will We...The Enlightened if you don't already own it). Greece has proven once more that it is more than able to provide with excellent, epic black metal.