Released: 2010, Sleaszy Rider Records
Reviewer: Alan Gilkeson
Both albums re-released on the Sleaszy Rider label, The Elysian Fields were a band known for their mixture of Death Metal with melody and electronica. Their second album, WE...THE ENLIGHTENED, received high praise for its ability to blend melody and emotion with the darker heavier side of Metal, compared to Dimmu Borgir and the like. That record was followed up by 12 ABLAZE and the SUFFERING G.O.D. ALMIGHTY.
To their credit, and quite possibly their downfall, The Elysian Fields always changed directions from album to album. So by the time that 12 ABLAZE came around (2001), they had advanced their sound to include more orchestration and lots of instruments from outside the realm of Metal. 12 ABLAZE in many aspects is just as good as WE...THE ENLIGHTENED, though they do try to add too much I think, concentrating on the technical aspects, leaving a bit of lifelessness at times. Still, a good record here.
Then in 2005 they returned with SUFFERING G.O.D. ALMIGHTY, and what a difference this time around, releasing a record almost completely techno in delivery. Again, the attempt is admirable, trying to forge new trails and aspiring for something individual and unique. However the Techno angle crosses the line at times. A track like 'Suffering', even with its dirty vocal, sounds like something from a dance club.
I like The Elysian Fields simply because they were definitely trying to separate themselves from all the other Melodic Death/Doom Metal and Symphonic Black Metal. There's definitely a feeling of originality in all of their product. You're not buying a clone of anything. Rather we have a band who did all they could to stay relevant without following somebody else's lead. Still, they never clearly settled on one particular sound, so from record to record you're almost listening to a different band. Released as a 2 for 1, this is a worthy investment.