Elvenking’s 9th album Secrets of the Magic Grimoire is a direct companion piece to 2014’s excellent Pagan Manifesto. Hailing from Sacile, Italy, Elvenking has declared itself to be a band highly influenced by folk music and dances from all over the world. Melding those influences with power metal has created a special blend thats makes Elvenking very unique. They don’t sound like anyone else.
Throughout their career, they’ve incorporated the folk influence to different degrees, sometimes going darker into more goth and metal core territory. Pagan Mainfesto was a welcome return to epic folk/power metal and this album is a continuation of that. A few differences are that instead of long epic tracks, the songwriting is more concise. But the quality of each song is strong and I enjoyed each one. The choruses are catchy and epic.
The album starts with ominous vocals (reminding me of Goblin’s soundtrack to the horror movie Suspiria), sinister whispers, grandiose orchestras and than explodes into a memorable power metal riff. Invoking the Woodland Spirits is a great way to start and encompasses everything great about the band.
Damnagora’s vocals are passionate and energizing. He’s always had this punk like sneer to his delivery and he puts it to great use on this album. This is some of his best and most versatile work.
This album is packed with so many ideas it can take a few listens to get them all. The more I spin this album, the more I love it. It has songs with keyboards/piano, female vocals, violins, and lots of symphonic elements giving it an epic feel, but which never overwhelm the band’s instruments. The production sounds very organic and all the parts seem to be at perfect levels to hear each performance distinctly.
I highly recommend this album to folk metal lovers but would also suggest this at a perfect example of the genre to those who might be skeptical if these two genres mesh well. I’ve been a fan of the band for a while, with their first two albums grabbing me and than subsequent output leaving me a little cold until these last 2 albums which have invigorated my passion for this band.
- Invoking The Woodland Spirit
- Draugen’s Maelstrom
- The One We Shall Follow
- The Horned Ghost And The Sorcerer
- A Grain Of Truth
- The Wolves Will Be Howling Your Name
- 3 Ways To Magick
- Straight Inside Your Winter
- The Voynich Manuscript
- Summon The Dawn Light
- At The Court Of The Wild Hunt
- A Cloak Of Dusk
- Petalstorm [Digipack bonus]
- The Open Breach [Digipack bonus]
- Jigsaw Puzzle [2010 version] [Digipack bonus]
- Skywards [2008 version] [Digipack bonus]
Record Label: AFM Records
Release Date: November 10th 2017
For the fans of … Skyclad, Blind Guardian, Ordan Ogan