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EnkElination: Tears Of Lust

It is a long time since the combination of guitars and operatic vocals was a novelty causing intrigue, excitement and no little bafflement, the challenge now instead being not one of convincing people the marriage works, but that new bands carrying this tradition on have enough about them to merit investigation. Especially seeing as the main protagonists of this genre, Within Temptation and Nightwish have in recent times moved quite considerably in other directions. The latest proponents of the Operatic Metal ethos comes in the shape of the UK's (but with Finnish lineage) enkElination (enkeli means angel in Finnish, so angel-nation), a band releasing their debut full length release a short while after an EP gained some notice in the media and online.

Fronted by the classically trained Elina Siirala and driven on by the classy guitar playing of Shadow Wenger, Tears Of Lust is an album which promises much and pretty well delivers on most fronts. Obviously we're not talking genre reinvention here (the band have only been on the go for two and a half years, give them a chance...) with a reasonably standard framework moulded into tracks which do create an individual take on familiar sounds. "Tears Of Lust" builds slowly, plaintive keyboards brushing gently against restrained guitars, as they introduce Siirala's confident yet not overbearing voice. From there a brooding riff which stays expertly on the right side of forceful moves things into a gently Progressive-aggressive direction. It is an assured beginning and one which immediately allays any fears that enkElination are going to be carbon copyists. "Higher Ground" expands upon the themes, the glorious soaring female vocals controlled and focused, the guitars keen to energetically set the agenda, while never stepping too far out of place. However not everything is kept so neatly in check, "Lullaby" stepping the vocal histrionics up a notch and ensuring that those in love with this singing style will be in raptures, while those not so sure will run for cover, the slower more deliberate pace feeling a little overwhelmed by the powerful voice.

However more often than not the likes of the pulsating "Insane", the dark and threatening "Reborn" and more theatrically inclined "Abyss" straddles the female fronted style with a knowing nod to the genre's big boys, while not feeling the need to play follow the leader. Those seduced by the Symphonic, female fronted approach need take note, for on this early evidence, enkElination would appear to be in it for the long haul. Where that journey will take them should be very interesting to see and hear.

Track Listing
1. Tears of Lust
2. Higher Ground
3. Never Ending
4. Lullaby
5. Insane
6. What Have You Become
7. Reborn
8. Chimeras
9. Changeling
10. Abyss
11. Last Time Together

Added: July 21st 2014
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: enkElination online
Hits: 1823
Language: english

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