Elenium, "For Giving, For Getting"
Finland's produced more than it's share of tight, synth heavy bands, and Elenium are one of them. Thankfully, they've joins the ranks not by cloning existing giants, but by offering a very different sound, and one that they can call their own.
In short, the Elenium sound is this: Huge, huge guitars, biting synths, delicate piano, slamming breakdowns, throaty death roars, pounding rhythm section, and intricate, progressive arrangements. They hit like a freight train when they get going on songs like "Up the Long Ladder" and "Eye for a Lie", with their redline energy earning them their spots in the track list. The more interesting material lies further inland though, and "Imposter" is the first great song on the album, showing off J's strange, Ozzy-in-the-morning-after-a-long-night-of-smokes clean vocals and jazzy soloing at the end, for good measure. "Nameless" follows with a slamming opening riff that stands as the best of their career so far. Pure headbanging pleasure, that one! "Moments" wins out with it's eerie clean vocal and spidery acoustic guitars, "Subcreator" is pure melodic metal goodness, complete with guitar/synth harmony leads and evil, bouncing verse riff, and "Under the Mug" has a lurking serial-killer vibe before showing its European routes with some beautiful melodic riffing. "To Aim and Miss" closes the show with quirky piano breaks and a nice orchestral coda.
Over the course of "For Giving, For Getting," Elenium cover a lot of musical ground, but they keep the album moving by never dwelling in one space too long and consistently returning from the more bizarre experiments to their metal roots. Comparisons can be made, but Elenium's sound can't really be pinned on any one, specific, existing model. There are elements of Children of Bodom, there are hints of Dark Tranquillity, there are shades of Dream Theater, but Elenium have put it together in their own, unique way. That uniqueness is not only their best asset, but also the single element that sets them apart in a sea of clones and washed up innovators.
Eye for a Lie