Thursday, January 19, 2012
ElvenStorm- Of Rage and War
Here we are again folks! Tonight I'm reviewing ElvenStorm, a Power Metal trio from France, and their first full length album, Of Rage and War. Yes, kiddies, that's right: Power Metal. Before you get your panties in a knot going "Sean, why are you reviewing that flowery symphonic shit??" lemme tell ya something: this isn't Nightwish or whatever gothicky symph band you think of when you hear "Power Metal." This is some bitchin' epic speed metal type stuff, like Doro Pesch/Warlock on cocaine. Did I mention this band is female-fronted? IT'S LADIES NIGHT!!
The album kicks off with the song "Winds of War" with a harmony lick a la "Hellion/Electric Eye" in the beginning. Soon enough a barrage of high speed riffs and vocal melodies rings across your speakers. It's like a Valkyrie on the microphone; it makes you want to get your rusty helm out and go pillage your neighbor's house for all of its beer. The album follows up with some other epic speedy tracks, such as "Witchhammer" and "Black Visions." To break off from the high-speed attack, "Raven in a Blackened Sky" sets off with a chunky midtempo riff. If you head or feet don't start moving along with the beat, you might want to check for a pulse. The chorus melody is as catchy as smallpox, you'll be humming along with the melody soon enough.
The singer, Laura Ferreux, has got some pipes! It's hard for me to come by a female singer that I actually like. Her singing style don't lack any power what so ever, you could power half the U.S. with her voice alone. Now, let's not let her voice diminish the rest of the music on this album, as they support and embellish this awesome trait. There are no keyboards on this album, it's all guitar, so the fact that this power metal band is guitar-driven is really a plus. The riffs sound like a blend between Judas Priest and later Iced Earth, not just palm muting root notes like a typical speed band. The solos have enough shred to them to satisfy the guitar junkies, and yet they're not just some schmuck sweep picking all across the fretboard, they've actually got some thought to them. You could probably sing some of the solos if you wanted to. The one on "Struggle Within" is pretty catchy and melodic, very Michael Schenker-esque.
A pretty nice little epic full-length I have to say. For those that want a female-fronted metal band, but don't want the half-baked music of Evanescence or Nightwish this is the band for you. A few of the tracks blend in together somewhat, probably because a handful of speedy tracks were mixed in the order together; another midtempo song would have been nice. Musically, you can't really complain: good vocals, nice riffs, noodley solos, and a feeling of overall epicness. I'm definitely looking forward to their next album.