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Thoughts on recent buys (Elvenking, Kalmah, Tristania)

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Joined: 26 Apr 2000
Posts: 1074
Location: Middleton, WI

PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2003 11:24 pm    Post subject: Thoughts on recent buys (Elvenking, Kalmah, Tristania) Reply with quote

Grading scale:
1-Forget it
And of course, everything in between counts. Remember, 5 is average. Anything an 8 and above deserves a serious look into.



The band name really tells you exactly what this band sounds like. Folk influences are all over this CD, and there are plenty of acoustic passages present. Overall I would describe this as a blend of Keeper's era Helloween and the folkier side of Blind Guardian. In essence, part classic Euro-power metal and part folk. The songs are well crafted, and the vocalist trys hard to do his best Kiske impersonation (and sometimes does pretty well with it, although he is now out of the band). Production is somewhat rough, but is good enough.

I'm not a big fan of the Euro-power metal stuff for mostly two reasons. Some of these bands get stuck in the same double-bass rhythm on every track, or the basic riffs are boring and the band tries to spice them up with lead fills stuck in-between verses (which bores me). But Elvenking come off as much more adventerous and don't always fall into the typical Euro-metal trappings. In summary, I found myself enjoying this CD. Of the 10 tracks, I find most of them pretty good but there are a few average ones...which prevents this disc from getting a top grade. Nonetheless, fans of Helloween and/or Blind Guardian who don't find heavy folk influences to be too cheesey to their likings....this is one to definitely check out.

Final grade = 7.0



This CD is more of the type of death metal I generally get into.

This band gets compared a lot to Children of Bodom and for good reason. There are many similarities between the two. But while Children of Bodom lean more towards power metal musically, Kalmah are much more "classic" death metal. They have a lot of the dizzying riffs from the early Gothenburg scene. At times, some of this stuff is just amazing (like the first track "Heroes To Us" which has some just mindblowing guitar work!!!). I would say that this CD is part Children of Bodom, part Gallery/Mind's I era Dark Tranquillity, with just a bit of technical progressive thrown in. Vocals are 100% death.

But where this CD falls short is in the songs. While some of the stuff (Heroes To Us, Burbot's Revenge) is really good, other stuff is quite nondescript and really doesn't distinguish itself from the hoardes of bands that have adopted this sound. Fans who dig death metal with technical playing might want to check this out, but if you don't like death metal then this is one to avoid. But I still like this enough where I will probably check out some more of Kalmah's stuff in the future.

Final grade = 6.5



This CD is kind of strange in that it was kind of what I expected, but was not what I expected. I thought it would have more female vocals and have more symphonic elements, but yet it had a lot of male death vocals and really contained many different styles.

Things got off well with "The Shining Path," a solid doom cut that highlighted male and female vocals. The next track was in the same vein and was pretty good as well. The third track, "Tender Trip on Earth," almost had a commercial feel to it. From there this CD kind of lost me. The fourth track, "Lost," had very much a techno feel to it. The fifth track, "Deadlocked," was a very bland ballad that did nothing for me. From that point on, really the only thing that caught my attention was another somewhat commercial cut, the title track "World of Glass."

I thought this would be a symphonic/doom CD with plenty of female vocals. It actually turned out to be a doom/+ a million other styles with about 60% male death vocals, 30% female vocals and 10% clean male vocals. And, for the most part, the songs just weren't up to snuff for me. Personally, I think Therion does this stuff about 5 times better and I'll probably be sticking with them in the future. World of Glass doesn't suck, but it didn't do much for me.

Final grade = 4.0


Other recent grades:

John Arch/A Twist of Fate (EP) = 9.0
Lullacry/Crucify My Heart = 8.5
Opeth/Damnation = 8.5
Bon Jovi/Bounce = 8.0
Green Carnation/A Blessing in Disguise = 8.0
Dream Theater/The Making of Scenes from a Memory (2 CD) = 7.5
Led Zeppelin/How the West was Won (3 CD) = 7.5
O.S.I/Office of Strategic Influence = 7.5
Soilwork/Figure Number Five = 7.5
Dimmu Borgir/Enthrone Darkness Triumphant = 7.0
Evergrey/Recreation Day = 7.0
Passenger/Passenger = 7.0
Armored Saint/Symbol of Salvation (3 CD reissue) = 6.5
Disturbed/Believe = 6.5
Dream Theater/The Majesty Demos 1985-1986 = 6.5
Katatonia/Tonight's Decision = 6.5
Type O Negative/Life Is Killing Me = 6.5
The Gathering/Souvenirs = 6.0
Voivod/Voivod = 6.0
Into Eternity/Into Eternity = 5.5
Kamelot/Epica = 5.5
Aerosmith/Just Push Play = 5.0
In Flames/Trigger EP = 5.0
Nightwish/Oceanborn = 5.0
Old Man's Child/In Defiance of Existence = 4.5
Dream Theater/Los Angeles, California 5/18/98 (2 CD) = 4.0
The Haunted/One Kill Wonder = 3.5
Dream Evil/Evilized = 3.0
Staind/14 Shades of Grey = 3.0
Deftones/Deftones = 2.0
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