ReviewsElvellon – Ascending in Synergy (Napalm Records)

Elvellon – Ascending in Synergy (Napalm Records)

Symphonic metal doesn’t appear to be wavering in popularity or global impact these days. Hailing from Germany, Elvellon steadily have been rising through the ranks from their debut Spellbound EP release in 2015, leading to a deal with Reaper Entertainment for the follow-up full-length Until Dawn in 2018. Gaining more attention through significant opening slot opportunities as well as festival appearances like RockHarz, M’era Luna, and Rock Fest Barcelona, the latest record Ascending in Synergy sees the quintet move up to the Napalm roster. Their sound represents an interesting cocktail that pulls from contemporary heavier/modern elements as well as conventional symphonic traits that have been forever embedded in this style since its inception.

You can expect glorious passages chock full of massive orchestration that never sacrifice the aggressive rhythms, solid keyboard parts, plus driving rhythm section foundational work to allow vocalist Nele Messerschmidt every opportunity to shine in her glorious clean/operatic melody splendor. The musicianship emphasizes easy on the ear hooks to grab the listener immediately, branching off into aspects of cultural/folk-like charm for the beginning sequence of “My Forever Endeavour” while producing heavier, darker strains during “The Aftermath of Life” that seesaw into drama-filled musical components that border on the commercial side to a key uplifting choral payoff. Unafraid to deliver the faster double kick burst or lay back into a dream-like state through softer piano play, the band uses all the tools in their proverbial box that keeps each individual song front and center to squeeze out varied emotions and textures, a hallmark of what makes symphonic metal so special. The nine-minute plus “The Aeon Tree” maintains the outer universe wonderment an epic track needs – starting in tranquil bliss through Nele’s softer harmonies, a male storytelling narrative transition, building to this sonic crescendo with crunchy guitars against the layers of keyboards and orchestration only to return to calmer waters in the final moments.

Continuing their relationship with Gilbert Gelsdorf and Beray Habip on the mixing/producing front, this scribe believes the Mika Jussila mastering expertise gives Elvellon that extra special touch to stand shoulder to shoulder with those headliners they aspire to be through Ascending in Synergy. The previous album Until Dawn showcased a bit too much familiarity for those who love Nightwish – whereas this set of material seems to broaden those key melodies, hooks, and harmonies into a multi-dimensional sound that could garner a contemporary audience beyond the norm.

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