Maximum Metal Rating Legend
5 Excellent - Masterpiece. A classic.
4.5-4 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a lacking.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio.
2.5-2 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors.
1.5-1 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible - Waste of your life and time.

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Band
Elvenking
Title
The Scythe
Type
LP/EP
Company
AFM
YOR
2007
Style
Power
3/6/2009 - Review by: Vinaya Saksena

Elvenking
The Scythe

Company: AFM Records
Release: 2007
Genre: Power, folk
Rating: 2
Reviewer: Vinaya

  • A tendency toward commercialized mediocrity



  • Being a fan of diverse and tuneful metal with a flair for the slightly unusual or different, I was keen to check out an Elvenking release for the first time after hearing some of the clever folk-inspired metal they had delivered in the recent past. Getting this album, however, had me seriously wondering if I had them confused with another band, given the sheer number of bands out there today and the difficulty in keeping track of them--not to mention the content of the album itself.

    I regret to say, however, that I was not mistaken. Instead, what we have here is an Elvenking album that is such a jolting, awkward departure that one could easily be forgiven for thinking the wrong CD has been packaged with the artwork for The Scythe. Gone for the most part is the classy and unique, folk-influenced power metal that essentially ensured their reputation, replaced by an embarrassingly self-conscious, watered-down, almost shopping mall-ready form of kiddie metal, with only faint hints of the violin and other elements that once distinguished the band.

    What's even worse, however, is what has taken the place of the band's trademark sound. Instead of the smart, eclectic and tasty twist on power metal Elvenking were once known for, The Scythe is chock full of the kind of trite, rote metal-by-numbers that seems to be pretty much the only type of "heavy" sound tolerated on commercial radio (at least Stateside). Songs alternate between straight mid-tempo radio metal anthems and moderately fast holler-along chug-fests, both usually driven by clichéd and unimaginative riffs, saved only by the occasional folk flourishes, as on the short but welcome instrumental (well, mostly) respite offered on "Totentanz."

    In fan comments I've read online, much of the blame for this album's annoying tendency toward commercialized mediocrity is assigned to recently returned singer Damnagoras. Much to my irritation (and apparently that of others), his whiny "melodic" vocals and utterly clichéd and generic death growls are all over the place on The Scythe. Worse, he seems to feel the need to throw pretentious, way too self-serious spoken intros at the beginning of several songs on the album. Rumor has it that the music of My Chemical Romance played a part in influencing his current thinking. Whatever the case, The Scythe strikes me as the kind of mistake made by so many metal bands who tried (often against their better judgment) to enter the mainstream, losing their credibility and creative vitality, and in many cases, not picking up too many fans from the mainstream audience they were attempting to court. A truly unfortunate choice from what had appeared to be a band with major promise.


    • 1 :REVIEW COUNT
      2 :AVE RATING

    ALL REVIEWS FOR: ELVENKING
    TITLE
    DOR
    COMPANY
    REVIEWER DATE MADE RATING
    Red Silent Tides
    2010
    AFM
    Ravana4/1/2011
    4
    The Scythe
    2007
    AFM
    Vinaya Saksena3/6/2009
    2
    The Winter Wake
    2006
    Candlelight
    Veritas7/3/2006
    -
    Two Tragedy Poets
    2009
    AFM
    Raising Iron6/16/2009
    4

    ALL INTERVIEWS FOR: ELVENKING
    INTERVIEW INTERVIEWER DATE TAGLINE
    AydanRavana4/29/2011


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