For me, uncovering talent is a big satisfaction, both as a journalist and a
metal fan. Although this album has been circulating for a few months, I felt it was worth sharing my thoughts on it, especially since at time of writing the band doesn't yet have a record label backing.
Elitania are from Mexico and "Templos De Cristal" ("Crystalline Temples") is their debut full-length release. The music is a Symphonic Metal influenced by Rhapsody Of Fire but Elitania take that style and dunk it in other music genres, such as Folk and Hard Rock, with interesting results.
Before I go on I must mention that the album's lyrics are in Spanish and this will probably put off some potential fans cuddled up in their Anglophone world. From what I've gathered the songs speak about a fantastical world in a style that is at once poetic and narrative.
But back to the music. The vocal department is made up of a baritone, tenor, soprano and
mezzo-soprano. This range of singers in the band's official line-up indicates the importance given to the vocals and indeed this is one of the areas where Elitania excels. This includes the quality of the choirs as well as the Death Metal growls. Yes, that's right, Death Metal vocals too and don't think they sound pretentious either. Case in point is 'Dragón de Medea' which has some intense growls. Similar situation with 'Plutón' - at times it sounds like a rougher version of latter-day Dimmu Borgir. Incidentally I liked that song's final twist...a quiet piano solo. I have always had a soft spot for the cross-pollination of Classical music with Metal but I have to say that the heaviest songs were the ones that I liked most from "Templos De Cristal".
Elitania really seem to have a knack for writing great melodies. Sometimes they do take it a bit too far with all the sugary-coated ditties but they have a hard-hitting edge to them that I find appealing.
Production-wise, "Templos De Cristal" is decent but far from excellent. For example the guitar solos sound particularly feeble. But with regards to the performance and scope of the compositions, it seems Elitania have injected considerable effort and passion into this album.
Elitania have made "Templos De Cristal" available as a free download. Yes, that's right, the whole album is available to download for free with the band's blessing. Just click
here and listen away.