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Released: 2000, Noise Records
Elegy began in the Netherlands way back in 1986 yet it is only in the last couple of years that their name has been getting international recognition. Over the years there have been many line-up changes, the most important being the addition of vocalist Ian Parry. The band has recently added to the line-up the very talented guitarist, Patrick Rondat for this, their sixth album, Forbidden Fruit. This is Patrick's first recording with the band as they have parted ways with guitarist Henk van der Laars. Henk is still credited with writing a good part of this album though.
The feel of this music and the guitar playing owes a degree of debt to Yngwie J. Malmsteen. This is mainly apparent on the more upbeat tracks, especially on my favorite track on the CD "Force Majeure." Even the vocals sound like one of Yngwie's older vocalists on this track. The lead playing here and at the intro to "Killing Time" comes right from Ritchie Blackmore / Malmsteen school of playing. However, it's not all Yngwie styled power metal on here and this is where the songs sort of lost me. For example, after the CD's opening three tracks ("Icehouse", the aforementioned "Force Majeure" and "Killing Time") the progressive sounding songs like "Behind The Tears" and "The Great Charade" remind me more of something from Kamelot meets Vandan Plas. I guess it doesn't hurt if the guest keyboardist for Elegy is also the Vandan Plas keyboardist, Günter Werno! The other strong tracks on the CD are the title track "Forbidden Fruit" and the kick ass "Elegant Solution." Songs on here either lean towards the power metal side of things or to the more progressive side of the spectrum. The layers and song structures are not simple on any of the material nor are these the type of songs that you immediately wrap your head around. It took me a few listens to really get into this CD. The prog elements sometimes threw me off, but it doesn't become overly indulgent. Lyrically this album is also thought out and not about simple or typical subject matter. It has a running thread throughout concerning mankind's urge and many weaknesses existing over thousands of years in search of the ultimate "Forbidden Fruit".
One question that this CD leaves me with is - what will the next album be like without the input of Henk van der Laars? Patrick is a phenomenal guitarist, so I don't think they have anything to worry about. If the songs were a little heavier it wouldn't hurt the band either! I know some of you Ian Parry fans probably feel differently, but hey this is just my take on the CD!
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