Just the band’s name should tell you that this is a Traditional Metal band. You can just see these guys in the front row at the Hammerfall concert, banging their heads like there was no tomorrow as you hold this CD in your hands. Musically, this has a few more twists and turns in it than the average “We Worship Hammerfall” band. It sounds more like the bastard offspring of Hammerfall (and by default, Gamma Ray and Iron Maiden) and Lord Weird Slough Feg. There are a lot of Celtic melodies and Medieval European Folk influences in Elvenking’s riffs. One problem I noticed that Elvenking has is their transitions. They like to be big and anthemic most of the time - which makes their music more memorable - but my guess is their guitar wankery is just dying to come out. They get into these big wanker moments where they’re noodling away and then when the time comes to going back to regular riffing, they don’t know how to get themselves out of their guitar wankery. This leads to some awkward moments where the song breaks down and scrambles to get back together. It doesn’t happen a lot, just enough to call attention to itself. There is some serious potential here for the band to develop into something unique, but somehow I just know they’re probably not going to go that way. There’s just too much of a guitar wanker undercurrent in Heathenreel that suggests that the “guitar hero album” is in the works.
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