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To Elysium
Dearest Vile
June 2002
Released: 2002, ColdBlood Industries
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: CrashTest

Elysium was an ancient Greek paradise reserved for heroes to whom the gods had granted immortality. Homer described it as a land of perfect happiness at the end of the earth. Sounds pretty cool, right? So how does a band whose name suggests that they lead the way to paradise actually sound? Well, not bad actually.

On the first spin of this CD, I immediately took notice. I really dig the “beauty and beast” vocal style that has been cropping up lately. That is, dual voices featuring a male death growl and female clean vocals. It worked well for me on last year’s INTIMATE PORTRAIT by Em Sinfonia, and it works well here as well. The thing that makes To Elysium unique within this context is that the female vocals, handled by Esther, are operatic in a Tarja (Nightwish) sort of way, while the death vocals of Rein range from a deep, guttural growl to a mid-range shriek. In short, a killer combination of gifted voices, either of which could probably front a band on their own.

While the vocals are the highlight of the CD, DEAREST VILE is a solid effort musically as well. To Elysium show hints of gothic, doom, death and a slight bit of power metal. The guitars are sometimes floating, sometimes aggressive and the keyboards play in setting the atmosphere. With a little more fine-tuning and a greater focus on their strengths, we just may hear more from To Elysium in the near future.

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