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Elvenking: The Scythe

Power folk metal may not yet stand completely on its own as a genre, but there are plenty of bands (especially European ones) exploring the boundaries of heavy metal, acoustic folk and classical music. On The Scythe, Italy's Elvenking mix and match elements of Skyclad, Finntroll and Blind Guardian into a hearty concoction full of gang choruses, catchy melodies, and clean and guttural vocals that take the band in a heavier, darker direction than Winter's Wake did in 2006. Narration in between songs is distracting, but there's enough originality and variety here to keep headbangers of nearly every stylistic persuasion coming back for more. Vocalist Damna's pipes perfectly suit Elevenking's style, although you get the feeling listening to the eight-minute epic "Romance & Wrath," the thudding "Death and Suffering" and the pretty-sounding anthem "Dominhate" that his voice could add spark to any heavy band. Colorful and imaginative artwork further enhance this invigorating slab o' metal which, I must admit, took me completely by surprise.

(Note: Elvenking is expected to release an acoustic album next, which should help band members further define their earthy factor. After that, Elvenking could be primed to rule the power folk-metal nation.)

Track Listing:
1) The Scythe
2) Lost Hill of Memories
3) Infection
4) Poison Tears
5) A Riddle of Stars
6) Romance and Wrath
7) The Divided Heart
8) Totentanz
9) Death and the Suffering
10) Dominhate

Added: May 5th 2008
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 2173
Language: english

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