Released: 2011, Inferno Records
This month will be reviewing a number of releases on the small, but very cool French label, Inferno Records. There have a decent roster of about 20 bands from around the world that they release on vinyl, Cassette and CD. This month I will be reviewing releases by Axecutor (Brazil) Clenched Fist (Brazil), Death Rides a Horse (Denmark), Elvenstorm (France), Lady Beast (USA), Prime Evil (USA), Rampart (Bulgaria), Razorwyre (New Zealand). Please feel free to enjoy all the reviews in this feature.
Named after the lead-off track of Savatage’s classic 1989 album, GUTTER BALLET, OF RAGE AND WAR is one of my favourite of the albums in this feature. There are certainly the fastest and most exciting and have the coolest name as well. The French band started as a trio and has since expanded to a quartet but this debut album was actually released back in 2011.
Elvenstorm rip through nine songs in 38 minutes and the style is very much inspired by the classic 80’s German bands such as Running Wild and Grave Digger, especially the faster eras of those great institutions. The whole album is propelled by the distinct combination of the accomplished vocals of Laura Ferreux the ripping solos of Michael Hellstrom, and perhaps most of all the speedy drumming of Felix Borner. Borner is of course the former drummer of Lonewolf another great veteran French band very much inspired by the style and tone of Running Wild. The four-minute songs strike hard and fast with a classic verse, chorus verse, chorus solo, chorus compositional style. The riffs are really simple and catchy and the whole pace of the album is pretty relentless with a real sense of momentum. Some people might complain about the sameness of the speed, but I don’t! Elvenstorm turn on the afterburners on the opening cut ‘Winds Of War’ and don’t stop until the closing notes of the last cut, ‘Legions Of Steel, a lyrical tribute to the glory of being Metal.
Elvenstorm are yet another recent and prime example that helps eliminate that outdated and misguided notion that French Metal is somehow inferior. OF RAGE AND WAR rules.