Sweden’s very own ‘Eleine’ are ready to unleash their symphonic, grandiose, 11 track album onto us, following on from the debut self-titled album in 2015. The band have released various singles in their life since their inception in 2011, and they seem to be growing in stature and confidence on this release.
Madeleine “Eleine” Lijestam, Rikard Ekberg et al mix beautiful haunting vocals with guttural growls, atmosphere with chilling melodies, and symphonies with orchestral grandeur, and they seem to do all of this effortlessly from the outset to the closing bars of ‘Break Take Live’
‘Echoes’ opens the proceedings with delicate female vocals from Lijestam, working harmoniously with the guttural growls of Ekberg, they throw in some catchy choruses and the whole track is built around a core of punchy, memorable repetition which sets out the bands intentions straight from the offset.
‘Sanity’ starts with the guitars and drums intertwining before some more deep rasping vocals courtesy of Ekberg, and the album then seems to take a deeper darker direction. The band introduce some lovely guitar solos, which allow the track to keep some of its beauty and natural highlights. This leads nicely into ‘From The Grave’ which lands the listener straight into a theatrical start of titanic proportions. It throws a spotlight on the vocals with a strong twin attack, switching the vocals between clean harmonies and deep throaty snarls.
‘Until The End’ is a personal highlight on the release, and it opens with a Spanish acoustic guitar doodle, almost verging on flamenco, and they then slow the track down, and leave just lijestams vocals and the beat of Eriksonn to entertain. The vocals are haunting and beautiful in their deliverance and they really allow the band to exhibit and parade the talent that is held within.
‘Please’ has a haunting piano intro with whispy vocals, and is a beautiful ballad which allows the heavier side of the band to be rested. The bands full charm is laid down and it is very reminiscent of Evanescence’s My Immortal, and his track could well and truly place itself among most other genres with ease.
‘Another Rite’ and ‘Hellmoon (We Shall Never Die)’ return to the bands roots, and the recipe that is tried and tested. it is theatrical in its deliverance, and symphonic to the max, with crunching guitars, overflowing riffs. The dual tandem of male and female vocal ranges work effortlessly and it all builds to a crescendo, which leads nicely into ‘Prelude: Arise’, a delicate instrumental which is elusive, tantalising and mysterious.
The album concludes with ‘Break Take Live’ and is packed full of punchy guitar riffs and flourishing drum beats, all tied together with a massive symphonic undertone. There is another dual assault with the vocals and it has a massive orchestral finish, reaching a crescendo which builds up and then crashes down to announce the end of a complete journey
This is more than an album, this is an adventure of epic proportions, watch out Den Adel, Turunen and Simmons, these swedes are hot on your heels
(8/10 Phil Pountney)