my angel, my eden, my place in time."
One Word Review: Eloquent
With Lost Elegy created a stand-out record that is instantly recognizable and inhabited by a very special atmosphere. It settled itself in the back of my brain back in 1995 and has never really left. Progressive Metal is the order of the day with sublime guitar work, strong melodies and a vocalist that sometimes reminds me of John Arch (Fates Warning) being the main courses.
The dual guitar attack of Henk Van Der Laars and Gilbert Pot is very impressive and a constant attention grabber. Lead singer Eduard Hovinga doesn't quite reach the god-like level of John Arch, but he creates some captivating vocal melodies and remains very special acquaintance. He often screams out the lyrics at a very high pitch and a sometimes with a very thick accent. Both these things may take some getting used to. Through the album the keyboard is a fantastic mood-setter, while drums and bass keep things tight and often surprises with great detail.
The opening title track is a complex and powerful and provides a challenging beginning to the album. One of the beauties of Elegy is their ability to create complex songs that on one level are easy to listen to because of their strong melodic element, but on another level contain so much detail that you can explore it for a long long time.
Everything has been a personal favorite from the first listen. The song is a raging sea of emotions, slowly building up to a captivating chorus, which is a melodic highlight of the album. Another highlight is the dual guitar intro solo that smoothly blends into the background as the first verse commences.
Clean up your act has a strong drive, constantly pushed further by lots of small touches that increase the intensity. A few examples are the great backing vocals and the brilliant guitar and drum details at 2:02 - 2:07. For the chorus Eduard pulls out an ultra high pitch delivery that is very memorable. The melodic element is Always with you's strongest force. The powerful opening, the heavy guitar work and the catchy chorus are highlights.
After this incredibly aggressive opening salvo the album settles back a little with the ballad Under God's Naked Eye. A strong and emotional song with a guitar solo that fits it perfectly. An exquisite 2 minute guitar solo then sets the stage for Spirits. A memorable chorus and a strong atmosphere makes the song work almost perfectly. It is only during its second half the song starts to drag out, lacking some surprises as well as a satisfying ending.
Crossed the Line opens with the trademark, excellent dual guitar solo. The keyboard plays an important role and keeps the atmosphere compact and tense. The fade out at the end is also very cool. The unique Live it Again feels like a distant dream. It succeeds in this by using only keyboard and Hovinga's voice as instruments, resulting in a very soothing effect.
NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition! Its chief weapon is power.... power and speed, speed and power.... It's *two* main weapons are power and speed....and ruthless efficiency with a guitar... Sorry.... It's *three* main weapons are power, speed and ruthless efficiency with a guitar...and an almost fanatical devotion to high pitch vocals.... It's *four* main.... No... Amongst its weaponry are efficient elements such as power, speed....... I think I'll try this again... (Exit Cardinal Biggles...)
Sorry about that, got carried away a bit... Let me just say that Spanish Inquisition is extremely powerful. Hovinga's voice sometimes sounds like it is mixed slightly lower than the rest of the songs, making it feel like he is constantly fighting to not be completely overpowered by the raging music. A breathtaking finish to the album.
The lyrics deal with inner turmoil, strength, love and other personal issues. All songs on the album share the same special atmosphere and if there is one theme that runs through the songs it is the feeling of being lost in some way or other.
If you like your progressive metal served with equal amounts of technical skill, melody, atmosphere and complexity then you owe it to yourself to check this outstanding album out.
Written By Steen
Online: Thursday, December 4, 2014