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Elvenking: Reader Of The Runes - Divination

Can it really be that Italy's Elvenking are nearly a quarter of a century old? Yes it can which on the one hand impresses me because of the level of commitment required to keep an, at best in sales terms, mid level band going but on the other hand reminds me that time is swiftly ticking for all of us. I've always enjoyed without totally loving Elvenking's output but it is definitely possible that Reader Of The Runes - Divination is the band's best yet.

2019 sees a much more mature and confident Elvenking as evidenced by the songs released in advance of the album, namely "Divination", "Silverseal", and "Under the Sign of a Black Star" which retain all the folk metal elements which are a key part of the band's sound but add a more muscular soundscape. For want of a better way of explaining it, the band appear to be more serious than previously. It could be the fact that this is a concept album which has concentrated the collective Elvenking mind but they have finally produced an album which flows from beginning to end and doesn't invite any skipping.

This is a darker, more mature Elvenking. The songwriting is more complex, the arrangements are much tighter than before and the band strays into melodic death metal territory on occasion most notably on "The Misfortune of Virtue". Add in the truly epic closing track "Reader of the Runes - Book I" and you probably have the best Elvenking album yet. Quite an achievement twenty-odd years down the line.

Track Listing:
1. Perthro (1:23) 

2. Heathen Divine (4:57) 

3. Divination (3:10) 

4. Silverseal (3:39) 

5. The Misfortune of Virtue (5:18) 

6. Eternal Eleanor (4:06) 

7. Diamonds in the Night (1:21) 

8. Under the Sign of a Black Star (4:13) 

9. Malefica Doctrine (4:58) 

10. Sic Semper Tyrannis (3:55) 

11. Warden of the Bane (4:42) 

12. Reader of the Runes - Book I (10:43)

Added: August 17th 2019
Reviewer: Simon Bray
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 857
Language: english

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