|Review: Elvenking - Secrets of the Magick Grimoire|
|Secrets of the Magick Grimoire|
Label: AFM Records
Year released: 2017
Genre: Power Metal
Review online: November 22, 2017
Reviewed by: Bruno Medeiros
for:Secrets of the Magick Grimoire
Rated 3.6/5 (72%) (10 Votes)
Like many of the Power/Folk acts out there, Elvenking have always used the frivolous atmosphere of the genre to write unpretentious and carefree songs, which can be found on Secrets of the Magick Grimoire as well. Starting with a bang in "Invoking the Woodland Spirit", they set the pace right from the first verse of the track, which switches from a folk anthem to fast-paced power hymn during its course.
The first half of the album, for that matter, abuses that formula really well, with songs like the melodic and catchy "Draugen's Maelstrom" and the fanfare-like "The Horned Ghost and the Sorcerer" – this last one slower in the verses and bridge but epic in the chorus – holding up to the high quality of the effort.
The melodic vocal lines of frontman and leader Damna suit each song perfectly, as he's able to transition from melodic and lower parts to characteristic high-pitched Power Metal screams with ease. The backing vocals provided by the whole band, especially guitarist Aydan, and the harsh vocal appearances by Nekrokraft and Witchery vocalist Angus Norder complement Damna's singing really well, especially on songs like "A Grain of Truth". Snowy Shaw (Denner/Shermann, Notre Dame, ex-Mercyful Fate, ex-King Diamond, ex-Therion) also provides a really cool vocal performance in "At the Court of the Wild Hunt"; these all help with the album's proposal of being magical and diversified.
The writing is what you would expect from an Elvenking album, with lots of fairytales of spells, dark forests, Sabbaths and magic books. Not erudite or genius in any way, but well worthy of picking up the booklet and reading the lyrics. The production is also one of the high points, with the duo Aydan and Damna taking the producer credits and legendary producer and DGM guitarist Simone Mularoni taking the mixing and mastery roles.
It seems to me that Elvenking have found their path across the dark forests of creativity once again and consolidated the new musical approach started with The Pagan Manifesto. Embracing the band's true essence from the heydays and adding some new layers and arrangements to the arsenal, Damna, Aydan and company have once again managed to make Melodic Power Metal and traditional Folk music coexist. Definitely an album worth checking out.
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