There's a great deal of exports from France to which to be grateful. Wine, of course. Bottled effervescent water, maybe not so much. Another is french fries. Just kidding. How about heavy metal? There's an abundant underground scene across the country. One interesting export is Elvenstorm, a female-fronted traditional heavy metal band, arriving with their second album Blood Leads to Glory.
Elvenstorm's brand is traditional Eighties melodic heavy metal, yet more on the speed metal side. Most every song here, like their previous album, is racing and bracing. The bass and drum keep the pace brisk, and the lead guitar leads fly like bullets tossed into raging campfire. Yet, this time around, Elvenstorm has found time to moderate the pace.
By example, Ruler of the Night keeps a brisk pace, but then slows just past the half way point. This seems more a common practice within this album than expected. Black Hordes does the same but only early in the song. But you may miss these slower interludes simply because your ears are hurtling along with the speed. Alternatively on two occasions, Elvenstorm drops the rush of speed for more moderate heavy metal with Where Angels Dare to Die and Temple of the Sun, two of the best songs. The former offers a nice touch of piano to the arrangement; the latter, a solid development with keen groove; both have killer guitar solos.
For conclusion, a few comments. First, Mistress From Hell, another metal song on the fast track, features Marta Gabriel of Crystal Viper. Another note of some regard is the crisp production offering clarity to all instruments. Which leads to say, the bass lines on every song is quite present and well done. (Unfortunately, by the time this album is released, bass player Will Duclos will be gone.) Finally, it's good to see Elvenstorm back off on the speed metal even for a few songs. It will give their musical resume more depth in the long run. If you like classic and melodic heavy/speed metal in the best tradition, then Elvenstorm's Blood Leads to Glory is definitely worth your time.
If you like classic and melodic heavy/speed metal in the best tradition, then Elvenstorm's Blood Leads to Glory is definitely worth your time.
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