Elmsfire - Thieves of the sun 4/5
1. Towards the gates of Hercules
2. Worth a tale
7. Taipouri ake tonu atu
8. Thieves of the sun
Ahoy me mateys, set ye sails and cast off for an adventure of a lifetime, an adventure for the ages. I am your captain and the ship is called the Elmsfire. We are tracking down the ‘Thieves of the sun’. Many treasures are to be found on the journey, so who wants to come along and who are the yellow bellies.
From out of Düsseldorf, Germany comes a promising, persistent and hard working band called Elmsfire who after 13 years finally scored a major record deal and are now officially on the metal map. Formed in 1999, Elmsfire did not release their debut CD until 2010, which was released independently. From 2003-2008 the band had produced 3 independently released demos, aptly named ‘Untide’, ‘Horizons’ and ‘Serum’. Elmsfire’s debut ‘Thieves of the sun’ showcased the band’s style of melodic heavy/power metal and turned heads in the process. Late in 2011, major record label Massacre Records signed the band up and very quickly re-released ‘Thieves of the sun’ to the metal world in early 2012.
Elmsfire consists of keyboardist Nathan, bassist Fritz, drummer Patrick Klose (ex-Dawn of Destiny), vocalist Erdmann and guitarist Doro (no, not Doro Pesch) and Germano. Over the years since 1999, Elmsfire have had a lot of members come and go, including 2 drummers, one keyboardist, 4 bassists, and 5 vocalists. Current vocalist Erdmann has a great, powerful and gritty voice for melodic power metal, while the 2 original members of the band, Doro and Germano, going by the sound of the CD, are 2 of the most important members of the band and are both very talented musicians, scorching the CD with powerful hooks, riffs and solos.
The release itself, ‘Thieves of the sun’ is a good CD, although somewhat short, containing just 8 tracks which includes an intro at the start. Clocking in at just under 44 minutes is a tad short in my book, however the quality of the tracks more than makes up for it. The CD’s lyrical content delves into quite a few topics, although there is a running theme throughout, which includes sailing the seas, treasures and pirates. Topics include Greek Mythology and also the novel Moby Dick, which talks about Captain Ahab’s mindless obsession with the white whale. Elmsfire pull no punches on their well waited debut, grinding out energetic and epic styled songs, some with darker tones than others, but all (aside from the ballad) containing aggression and force to coincide with the melodies provided by the well-layered keys.
Obviously with ‘Thieves of the sun’ being a debut CD, there are a few faults here and there, either with the songwriting, vocal delivery and tone and overall production. The songs on a whole are quite consistent for a debut and offers the listener some confidence that the next release could and should be much better; with the typical “first CD issues” ironed out. “Ahab” seems to be the highest pick of the bunch, with a spoken intro to set the scene of the track. With constant tempo changes and wonderful musical passages throughout, you are taken on a journey over the seas as Captain Ahab tries to take revenge on the white whale that injured him on a previous voyage. Quite epic and bombastic at times, the song is very well written and easily one of the best the CD has to offer.
The 6 minute “Stormchild” is also another standout on the CD, featuring hearty riffs and saturated melodies from the keyboards. With “group” vocal chorus throughout the song (as well as the entire release), that you can’t help but sing along to, “Stormchild” is quite catchy and flows very well, keeping the pace relatively swift. The dark tinged “Taipouri” is another highlight to appear on ‘Thieves of the sun’. With even gruffier vocals from Erdmann than on other tracks, the guitar riffs are slightly more aggressive and heavy, while the fearsome pounding drums are pulsating to say the least. Arguably the most emotional and passionate track on the CD, “Taipouri” would be a certain winner in anyone’s book. Lastly, the melodic “Eolian” is another top-notch track, with soaring and emotional vocals from Erdmann, atmospheric keys and once again group choirs throughout.
Overall despite the shortness of the CD, there is a lot here to like about Elmsfire. For a debut, ‘Thieves of the sun’ is well above average and can pick up fans from a vast amount of metal genres, from progressive metal, to melodic metal, traditional heavy metal and power metal. The songwriting already seems to be quite strong, hence the quality of the tracks, so for now Elmsfire are travelling quite nicely right now. Hopefully though, now with the support of Massacre Records, their next release can be a bit longer time-wise and the band can really spread their wings and deliver a high calibre CD.
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