Eltharia - Legend of a forgotten world 1.5/5

Reviewed: 12-2-05





Tracklist:

1. Many centuries ago...
2. ...And all began here
3. King's ghost
4. A new age has come
5. Vampire hunter
6. Behind the mask
7. My angle exists
8. The tragic grand reunion
9. Toward the dark ancient ruins
10. Parallel words
11. Angel's tears


Eltharia is an unknown French band, but just like Seyminhol (also French), they remind me of some of the Italian bands. Their style is symphonic power metal in line with Dragonhammer, Landguard, Kaledon and Dark Horizon, but the production is very poor, so Crystal Castle and some of Skylark's material have also come to mind. 'Legend of a forgotten world' is their debut and although it has some strong points, it ends up being a CD that is very hard for me to recommend.

The way the songs are structured will probably be most familiar to fans of Kaledon. There are some crunchy songs filled with orchestration, faster songs, a few keyboard parts reminiscent of Skylark and the majority of the songs actually contain decent songwriting and well done guitar work. The catchy track 3 "King's ghost", short interlude "A new age has come" and the fast-paced track 5 "Vampire hunter" form the best musical portion of the CD by far. The lengthy track 10 "Parallel words" (over 10 minutes long) is really the only song I extremely dislike, as it seems to drag on forever in an uninteresting manner.

But (besides a weak production) the CD is brought down quite a bit by vocalist Pierre Carabalona. His frequent lack of pronunciation and overall high volume make him very hard to understand. I don't think he's awful or needs to be replaced by any means, but more control is a must if the band's going to be successful in the future. There are too many excellent vocalists and picky fans in the metal community, so I have a hard time envisioning anybody regarding Pierre as one of the better vocalists.

Although I feel like this CD would have been a decent grab back 4 years ago when I was quite happy with debuts from Dark Horizon and Kaledon, times have changed, and this CD (due mainly to the vocals) ends up being forgettable and only recommended if these mentioned debuts or the Crystal Castle debut 'October hymns' are part of your regular listening rotation. Eltharia is not a band I have given up on however, as their songwriting is somewhat competitive and there are some good musical parts on this debut. Only time will tell if the band will make improvements on a follow-up.



CLINT




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