Released: 2007, AFM Records/Sound Pollution
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall
With this fourth album the Italian folk metallers Elvenking turn the page to a new chapter. The band has apparently attained a cult status in certain circles and THE SCYTHE received help from guitarist Mike Wead (King Diamond, Candlemass etc). Elvenking’s music is all about very melodic power metal with folk music influences (if you couldn’t guess by the name). The band incorporated grand sting arrangements and violins into the production and it sounds pretty good and solid.
I do have a huge problem with all these folk music parts that have a tendency to sneak up on you every time you listen to THE SCYTHE. When mixed with a huge choir they wear on me and to be honest I’m a bit tired of Italian bands that sound like Elvenking. I’m pretty fed up with this stale genre and the album doesn’t do anything for me. This is plain, harmless melodic power without any edges whatsoever.
The band knows how to write songs but they play it safe all the time and don’t head into deeper water and that makes the album suffer. THE SCYTHE is OK as background music while you clean, but it’s not good for any extended or closer listening. This generic and weak album is a disappointment, but to be honest I didn’t expect much different from an Italian act that plays melodic power metal mixed with folk music and strings.
When not even the production is impressive it’s time to close up shop. Sorry Elvenking, THE SCYTHE is not gonna be played at my house anymore.