Release DetailsLABEL Rage of Achilles
RELEASED ON 11/4/2003
For Giving - For Getting
posted on 12/2003 By:
When searching for unorthodox melodic death metal, your one-stop shop can usually be found in Finland. This is again the case here with Elenium’s first full-length album, For Giving - For Getting. This is best described as a progressive take on the traditional melodic death sound, integrating neo-classical key compositions and traces of power metal.
Elenium build their songs around thick, driving rhythm riffs the way Evergrey does. Like most bands seem to be doing now, J’s vocals cover both growls and clean singing. Dan Swano is brought to mind by his growls, while the cleans bear a strong resemblance to those of Warrel Dane (Nevermore). But while Johannes is a gifted keyboardist, some of the songs revolve too strongly about him, underutilizing the capable guitar duo of Lemmi and Kasperi. There is a dearth of lead/rhythm interplay, which is amplified by the mixing job that cranked the rhythm guitar way up, to the detriment of the lead. Beyond that, the production is fantastic – a clean, yet crunchy Finnvox mix.
During the first minute or two of the album (“Up the Long Ladder”), I thought I was in store for another Edge of Sanity clone, due to Swano-like roars and EoS riffage. Fortunately, this turned out to not be the case. “Eye for a Lie” is a heavier look at what sets Elenium apart, maintaining the heaviness throughout and showcasing a shredding finale like Michael Romeo (Symphony X) does so well. Songs like “Moments” and “To Aim and Miss” are interesting because they both are mid-paced, progressive numbers that close out with pure classical outros.
For Giving – For Getting is an eye-opening debut album and Elenium just reaffirms the fact that Finland produces better melodic metal than anywhere else. While they lack some of the subtle songwriting cohesion of a veteran band, this doesn’t hold them back much - it just prevents this album from being great. If you’re interested in a band that sounds like Edge of Sanity meets Dream Theater meets the ballads of Nevermore, then Elenium is for you.
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