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Going through changes - 76%

kluseba, June 18th, 2011

This fourth album of Liechtenstein's best band "Elis" is a new beginning after the sudden death of their calm, hypnotizing and unique singer Sabine Dünser that was replaced by the Austrian singer Sandra Schleret. She is not as unique and charismatic as the late vocalist but from a technical point of view she is more skilled and does her very best. The music has also changed with all those changes and moves away from the rather calm and hypnotizing sound of "Griefshire" to head for a heavier sound in the tradition of popular symphonic metal bands. It's because of the band's high degree of diversity that they don't get drowned in the masses of endless popular bands of the same genre. They successfully defend their acquired place and reputation with this record.

The success formula is rather simple and unites styles and skills from the band's past efforts. We have rather dark, heavy and especially atmospheric pieces like the great "Twinkling shadows" or the slower and epic "Warrior's tale" where the popular Michelle Darkness from the German gothic rock band "End of Green" added some vocals. It's surely not the best track on here but a good experiment and it could have been a rather popular song if the band would have decided to release a single or make a video clip out of this. It's the same thing for the catchy Jennifer Rush cover track "I come undone". A part of that the band convinces once again when they use German lyrics. "Des Lebens Traum, des Traumes Leben" is dedicated to Sabine Dünser but turns out to be a musically rather mediocre song while "Das kleine Ungeheuer" tells a dark little tale with many interesting slight changes in style that create a great atmosphere. The more folk orientated and calmer "Rainbow" also stands out and is amongst the best tracks on the record.

The problem with this record is that there are some fillers on the length of the whole album and that there is a lack of continuity and coherence on this record that made "Griefshire" so special and outstanding. This album is full of ideas and emotions but a true soul is missing in the release corpse. The band tried to vary more and focus on their strengths as well as on new experimentations which is a positive point but this plan doesn't always work in the most perfect way. The record is though still better than most of the releases of other bands of a similar genre and it was a good decision of the band to carry on after the death of their late vocalist. Today, the lead singer has once again changed and the band is once more going through changes and I'm looking forward to the result of the next release. In the end, I would like to recommend the purchase of the special edition of the record which includes two good bonus tracks as well as a great little concert where eight songs from the past two albums are performed in a very good way by the new line up that has now once again become an old one.