Elvenking is an Italian power (folk)-metal band. Their first 3 CDís were a kind of metal with a lot of violins and folky music. A little bit like Skyclad used to be. They probably donít want to be that brave and a kind of folk-power metal band anymore. Maybe touring with John Olivaís Pain has something to do with it? We must be evil too, In the Hall of the mountain king...I donít know.
OK you can still hear some violins, cello and piano on some tracks, but the violins are thrown far more to the background compared to the earlier records. The album is much darker and heavier than the first three. That should not be a problem, but Iím not convinced. The band refers to influences of Blind guardian and In Flames (Clayman). For a part I can agree, but the problem is that the songs donít keep hanging in your head. They are too divers. Within the songs, the music-styles change a lot, so it becomes a bit confusing. The guitar riffs are more in front, and because of that you hear them much better then on earlier records, now you can hear they are rather common. To emphasize the darkness of the songs there is some grunting in the mix and the grunting is rather general and not so impressive.
Is it a bad record then? No, but I am a little bit disappointed. "Heathenreel" their first one has spoiled me, I think. At that point they were special, not like so many other bands. That, they have lost a bit with their new one. But maybe they get a lot of fans now, who like their new heavier and darker style. I appreciate the courage the band has taken to change their style, but is not convinced enough to give them a higher score. If they can write more structured songs with original riffs, their next album might be more of my cup of tea.