Take a touch of guillotine poetry, a portion of sadistic intent and wrap it in gothic horrors of Lovecraft’esque dimensions and you pretty much have the new album from French/Austrian Elend. Neoclassical horror music is probably the best bet for a genre, which fits the ensemble perfectly: A 30 man orchestra working away at their diabolical best. These obviously talented individuals have created a very disturbed and at times violent atmosphere, and one gets a distinct uncomfortable feeling after listening the album to an end. This is both an accomplishment and an annoyance, since the chilling feel is uniform and never relieves.
‘A World in their Screams’ is the third part of the ‘Winds’ cycle begun in 2003 with ‘Winds Devouring Men’ and followed by ‘Sunwar the Dead’. Nothing much has in my opinion changed compared to ‘Sunwar’ at least, other than a very much more sinister vocal. This is decidedly a plus compared to the wailing and higher pitched clear vocals on the last album ‘Sunwar the Dead’, a style of singing that never really impressed me. As is the case of the older Elend material, I find that the majority of songs are indistinct and become dull after a listen or two. Some songs, ‘Stasis’ for example, deserves to be highlighted though. It has a very catchy main theme and a more unnerving feel, which elevates it above the routine gothic-to-the-bone classical cacophony.
Elend’s ‘A World in their Screams’ is the somewhat bland conclusion of the ‘Winds’ cycle. It might be enjoyable while gearing up for a horror movie night with friends, but this album is a passing affiliation for me at least. Some parts of the songs are quite good, but unfortunately they drown in indifference. Buy this album if you enjoy elements of extreme metal, classical music and gothic horror movies. And especially if you enjoy being alone and depressed in the small hours.