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An Exquisite Debut - 93%

unanimated, July 31st, 2006

The Greeks have a thing for originality. While in Norway, Sweden, US or Germany you'll easily find dozens of bands that sound exactly the same, in Greece this somehow doesn't happen. Just look at the biggest names, Rotting Christ, Septic Flesh, Necromantia... all excellent music, each different than the other, and you'd hardly find any significant band that resembles these. Same goes for Elysian Fields.

Adelain is one of the albums that i loved from the first listening [which in this case was very shortly after its release in 1995] and i still love today. This very powerful debut was enough for Elysian Fields to take place among the best metal bands in my collection.

It has pretty much everything you can ask for. The sound is perfectly balanced, no instrument is standing out, everything fits in its place. The music is a unique mixture of black and death metal, with some almost doomy parts. Guitars have a very good and strong sound, the faster riffs at higher volume are almost deadly, in the best sense. Yet they are intertwined with slower, beautiful melodic parts, enhanced by piano, keyboards and occasionally violin.

The usage of simple piano, rather than typical atmospheric keyboards, is a strong point here, giving the album more original feeling. But unlike other bands who spoil their album by having keyboards or violin all over the album until you get sick of it, on Adelain you never get "too" much of anything. It's a guitar+drums based album, where the other instruments come inconspicuously as a support and then leave silently without you even noticing.

Not to leave out the vocals, they are somewhere between black and death, just like the music, while maintaining some variety too. Within the attacks of relentless guitars they show freezing aggressivity that chills your spine, but they can also evoke the feeling of melancholy in the slower passages, where they even become clean at times.

The songwriting is just amazing, especially for a debut. The music is evolving and ever-changing, never stays long on the same tempo or riff, which is one of the best features of the album. After 11 years of listening to it, i never got bored one bit.

There's no need to highlight any of the songs, all of them are superb, not a single one is lacking. If you like Elysian Fields but don't have the debut, fix it asap. If you don't know the band and your taste is not limited to "pure raw black metal" or something like that, you won't be disappointed. This is definitely a musical pearl.