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Elvenking - "Heathenreel"
AFM Records 2001

Here comes another band which composes music for all who loves to listen tales of "mystery and imagination". A lot of acoustic Celtic folk melodies are making very nice company to power metal basics. Musicians are technically supremely skilled. Both guitars are serving tons of double twin harmonies that are laid over melodic powerful riffing.

Production is well balanced, all instruments expressive and contrasts very colorful. Singing is clean, yet sometimes more aggression would be very welcomed. However this guy shouts extremely well especially in highest sequences, where he is in his strongest position. Vocals reminds sometimes on Andy Mück from German power metal station Stormwitch and in highest sequences even on Michael Kiske (ex-Helloween). Sound picture is fulfilled with addition of fine and tasty keyboard arrangements

Guitars are fast and precise as hell and great solos only confirm that. Changes between motives and rhythms are very often and fluid and dynamics is waving quite a lot throughout the record. Addition of background multi-vocal harmonies is tasteful and inclusion of gothic female lead vocals, too. They know how to make a right atmosphere! Nice collision between musical compositions and poetry.

Elvenking are delivering record of epic pompous metal hymns that will make happy all fans of Blind Guardian, Rhapsody and good old "keepers era" Helloween. "Heathenreel" is a very nice record, which offers mostly mid to up tempo songs. Actually nothing yet unheard, Italians are sticking to classical power metal shapes of things wining formula with clever addition of folk spices on every step they take. Unfortunately, band offers very predictable music. Not bad at all. Good. Good enough for people with one-track mind, but for all who are searching for more uniqueness, "Heathenreel" will probably leave you unsatisfied.

Author:   Ale¹

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