Elis - Dark clouds in a perfect sky 3.5/5

Reviewed: 7-14-06





Tracklist:

1. Der letzte tag
2. Anger
3. Lost soul
4. Perfect love
5. Heart in chains
6. Die zeit
7. Black angel
8. Devil inside you
9. Rebirth
10. Are you missing me
11. Ballade
12. Show me heaven (bonus track)


It was less than a week ago I heard of the sudden death of Sabine DŁnser, vocalist of newcomers Elis. Although I've never met her or any of the band members, there's no doubt the severe tragedy affects us all, as metal is much more than a style of music for enjoyment, it's the core of a strong bond we all share. So with Elis' music playing and my heart wandering lost in Sabine's beautiful voice, I decided to turn my feelings into writings with intent of sharing my thoughts on the band and what they've accomplished thus far...

The band (from Liechtenstein) was formed in the early 2000s under the name Erben der Schopfung and Sabine joined them in 2001, where they quickly released a full-length CD 'Twilight'. They then changed their name to Elis and in 2003 released the CD 'God's silence, Devil's temptation', one that quickly grabbed the attention of those who are into female fronted bands. I'm one such fan and Elis truly impressed me right from the start, sounding like a crunchy version of Edenbridge. Since the style has expanded a lot in the last 3 or 4 years and more bands exist, comparisons can now be made to Within Temptation, Sengir and Xandria, but also to bands like Angtoria, Leaves' Eyes and Midnattsol, who incorporate some faster parts into their music. The majority of these bands are embedded in the symphonic metal genre however and I would lump Elis into gothic metal.

'God's silence, Devil's temptation' is definitely a musically catchy CD, but one can't help but be drawn to Sabine's vocals, surely what's made the band extra special. She sings in both English (mostly) and German, and is exceptional either way. Just like with many other bands in the symphonic/gothic metal style though, occasional male vocals (courtesy of Tom Saxer) are present and the "beauty and the beast" label does apply. Tom's vocals are also well done and the vocal department is probably the strongest aspect of the band. The songwriting, while solid, is lacking on a few unspectacular songs and is probably what kept them from reaching up to the bigger bands at this point. But rest assured, the CD has plenty of highlights, "Come to me" being the ultimate! A fantastic song that's surely a favorite to those who have the CD.

Elis then released what is now their most recent CD 'Dark clouds in a perfect sky'. Thankfully, it's consistent in every way with 'God's silence, Devil's temptation', including Sabine's lovely voice, which shine's numerous times throughout. Surprisingly, my favorite song on the CD happens to be the wonderful bonus track "Show me heaven", where Sabine really leaves a lasting impression. It's one of the slower songs on the CD (as both Elis CDs have a few slow songs), but is extremely memorable. I probably prefer 'God's silence, Devil's temptation', as there are a good amount of songs on 'Dark clouds in a perfect sky' that aren't close to the level as the best on the CD, but the band took just a slight step backwards with the CD and they're both recommended.

For those who have been greatly intrigued by this review and the horrible circumstance for which I have written this, surely visit the band's homepage and show support for her family, friends, band and fans. If you're a lover of the female voice and the gothic metal style, definitely grab the band's CDs right away. Otherwise, you'll miss hearing one of the best female vocalists in metal, someone who will be greatly missed and never forgotten.






CLINT




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