I have always maintained that most journalists in the Heavy Metal realm develop there Year-In Review’ lists far too early. There is an enormous amount of material and the really good, underground independent bands like Alsatia get overlooked in favour of the Judas Priests of the world. That’s a shame because of these same journalists took a bit more time to dig into the underground you would likely find the album FIELDS OF ELYSIUM by Alsatia on more lists. I am just as guilty with countless albums on deck, it has taken me until now to get to this fine album and they say, better late than never.
Alsatia from Kansas come from the ‘Dragonforce school of kicking ass’ via blazing Speed Metal. These guys are in the Masterclass because FIELDS OF ELYSIUM is top heavy with speed and guitar and keyboard interplay. The songs are fast and technically very proficient. The band rips through seven songs and an intro in no time flat, leaving me wanting more. The band hit all the major touchstones of a solid Metal album, blazing guitars, great soloing, pounding drums, thumping bass, good vocal lines, catchy melodies, the debut has it all.
The vocals of Scott Livingston were strong but I found the singing was hindered by the production values. The vocals (and backing vocals) came across as a bit thin and the vocals I felt were too far back in the mix. It’s clear that vocalist can sing and has a killer set of pipes but it may not have come across as well on my crappy little computer speakers! For an independent production, it is very acceptable. It’s important not judge albums by their covers, because if you did, you might assume this to be something more gothic based on the band name, logo, album title and dark cover art featuring a nature scene. It is almost a little out of sync with the happy, inspired fast Power Metal music on the disc.
FIELDS OF ELYSIUM is a very competent debut, fast, fun and furious and I hope more people take a moment to check these guys out.
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