Album review: ELYSION – Someplace Better

Massacre Records – Out Now.

In the twelve or so years since I moved from my native Greece, a revolution of sorts has taken place in the local Metal scene. Whereas in the early to mid 90s it would be the odd band that would be good – or lucky – enough to grab the attention of a European label, now many new outfits find themselves in the privileged position of having signed a record deal.

One such band is the Athenian Dark/Goth Metal quintet Elysion – a female fronted outfit whose second studio album “Someplace Better” was recently released by the German label Massacre Records.

Even though I am not what you would describe as a connoisseur of the Goth Metal scene, I know enough to be able to recognise elements from the music of bands like Evanescence and Lacuna Coil in the eleven compositions on offer here.

Actually, it is the works of the ex-The Gathering chanteuse Anneke van Giersbergen which seems to have been most influential on front lady Christianna’s musical upbringing and, even though the young Greek singer does not have the charisma that would enable her to compete with her Dutch colleague, her performances throughout “Someplace Better” are very convincing indeed.

It only really takes half a minute into the opening track “Made Of Lies” and the listener will know exactly what this album is all about. Heavy/repetitive low-chorded riffs, distorted  keys and warm bass lines: they all focus on how better to support and promote Christianna’s melodic voice, resulting in the creation of an album that is welcoming, but somehow too familiar to the average fan of the genre.

The good thing about straight-forward compositions such as “Fairytale”, “Awake” and “Changing” is that they benefit from a very professional and powerful sound, making the listening experience quite enjoyable.

The music of Elysion, however, sounds better when stripped to the bare essentials, as suggested by the piano-led and cleverly orchestrated piece “The Promise” and the equally moody “Transparent” – a musical approach that, hopefully, the band will choose to invest in more in future releases.

“Someplace Better” is not the kind of album that you will find me listening to in my free time and that is not because of its quality, but rather because I am not naturally attracted to the genre that the members of Elysion have chosen to serve.

I am sure that fans of Theatre Of Tragedy and Lacuna Coil will have every reason to fully embrace and support this album, providing that Massacre Records puts its full weight behind its promotion. Good luck, guys.

John Stefanis

Rating: *** ½ (3.5/5.0)


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