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The Elysian Fields
Suffering G.O.D. Almighty
June 2005
Released: 2005, Black Lotus Records
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Gabriel C. Zolman

Atmospheric to a fault, Grecian Goth-Metallers spent four years putting this together, and the end result is nothing short of unexpected. Fans of the band’s earlier work might be thrown for a loop—it’s a good deal more gothed out and synth-happy than previous releases. This is not to say that the European Death Metal elements are vanquished—they are very much alive in songs like “I See The Lie Behind All Truths” and the vociferous title cut. But there is an element of restraint here; it blasts, but never for too long a stretch.

Greek Metal has a feel all of its own. Bands like Rotting Christ, Septic Flesh, Nightfall, and Necromantia have an atmosphere second to none—it is unique to their district. The keyboards are a standard accompaniment; really, this shouldn’t surprise anyone. With this LP, the band are, more than anything, reclaiming their heritage—the de-emphasis on the Swedish-styled riffing they were previously known for, and the evolution into Septic Flesh Doom-Death territory. A song like “Ravished With Thee Light” could only come from a band from this region, and if Septic Flesh cannot deliver it, The Elysian Fields are more than happy to take it on.

The textures and melodies are melancholy, yet triumphant…mysterious, yet familiar. Quite frankly, Rotting Christ could only wish they still made music this fleshed-out and relevant.

Tracks like “I Am Your Willing Darkness” and “Unleashing The Propaganda” possess a soundtrack sort of feel, and yet they are among the heaviest on the disc.

The introduction of electronics is sure to be a mixed blessing to some—keyboards are a staple of the genre; but the bleeps and bloops might cause the average Black/Death fan to cringe now and again. At its best, the album is an inspiring Goth Metal testament, with some Black/Death elements (mostly in the still-necrotic vocals); at it’s worst, it sounds like a noisy neighbor playing an Asia record over your Eternal Tears Of Sorrow disc.

Darkwave diehards are bound to be turned off by the Death Metal vocals; Death Metal fans are bound to be miffed by the Projekt Records-style synth drifting, and occasional Legend Of Zelda melody. But for the initiated, and the adventurous, this is a stunning album, full of somber moods and myriad surprises.
Track Listing

1. Aeon's Unlight
2. I Am Your Willing Darkness
3. Suffering GOD Almighty
4. Ravished With Thee Light
5. Unleashing The Propaganda
6. I See The Lie Behind All The Truths
7. An Overture Of Sorrows Unfolding
8. All Those Tristful Winters
9. Anathema Unveiled

Lineup

Bill A. - Vocals, Bass
Marinos A. - Guitars, Keyboards
Michael K. - Fx and Programming

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Next review: » The Elysian Fields - Suffering G.O.D. Almighty/12 Ablaze (reissues)
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