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Elvenking
Wyrd
March 2005
Released: Apri, AFM Records
Rating: 2.5/5
Reviewer: Aryn

When Elvenking released HEATHENREEL in 2001, they shocked the folk metal scene with an unabashed mix of epic power metal and classic folk metal and singlehandedly changed the scene. So many bands since then have attempted to re-create the sound created on that album, but Elvenking wore the crown and remained the most innovative band to hit the genre with their daring crossing into power metal territories.



And then vocalist and primary songwriter Damnagoras departed the band. It would have been safe to assume that the band would simply cease to be since he was the driving force with his unique vocal delivery and the fact that he just about wrote all of every song. But contrary to tradition Elvenking decided to forge forward with new vocalist Kleid and released WYRD to much apprehension in 2004. The sad fact was, there was no way they could go on without Damnagoras and it shows very clearly in WYRD. Although the album opens with a promising little acoustic jig in "The Losers Ball" it quickly goes downhill. The first album used female vocals sparingly and tastefully to round out tracks that could use an operatic touch, but WYRD overuses them to the extent that you wonder if they were trying to appeal to the Nightwish crowd. Singer Kleid tries his best, but simply had too big of shoes to fill and his delivery comes across as forced and uninspired.



It seems as though Elvenking was desperately trying to survive on the legacy of their near-perfect album alone, but that just wasn't enough. The folk melodies seem cut and paste, and it just doesn't seem to have any heart to it. It's an empty shell by a band whose soul had departed before it was ready to die. The playing and production is technically better then the first album, but it lacks that special something that made HEATHENREEL so great and that something is named Damnagoras. Fortunately for us all, Damnagoras rejoined the band shortly after the release of this album so let us hope for a dramatic turnaround from a band whose potential is endless.
Track Listing

1. The Losers' Ball
2. Pathfinders
3. Jigsaw Puzzle
4. The Silk Dilemma
5. Disappearing Sands
6. Moonchariot
7. The Perpetual Knot
8. Another Haven
9. A Fiery Stride
10. Midnight Circus
11. A Poem for the Firmament

Lineup

Kleid - Vocals
Zender - Drums
Aydan - Guitars
Gorlan - Bass
Jarpen - Guitar, Growls
Elyghen - Keyboards, Violin

Interviews

Next review: » Elvenstorm - Of Rage And War
Previous review: » Elvenking - To Oak Woods Bestowed





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