Wednesday, October 5, 2016

ELYSIAN GATES: "Crossroads"

Rating: RRR
Label: Independent Release
Review by Martien Koolen

Crossroads is the second album of the Luxemburg female fronted prog metal band Elysian Gates and it features the "new" vocalist Noemie leer (ex-Rude Revelation). Leer is defintely a vast improvement for Elysian Gates, as her voice sounds crystal clear in the - maybe a bit too sweet/cheesy ballad - called Mary Ann, but she also sounds rough and raw and she even grunts (sad but true...) a little bit, for example in the song Far From Home. Crossroads opens with the instrumental title track, which sounds rather familiar and not really spectacular or surprising, but this decent opener is followed by one of the highlights of this album, namely the epic Far From Home, which clocks over 10 minutes and leaves you almost breathless after listening to it!

Other musical "milestones" are: Broken Inside, HUman Infection, featuring a very catchy chorus, and the last track of this album called Open Gate. The sound of Elysian Gates can be best described as an excellent blend of musical characteristics from bands like Delain, Leaves Eyes and Tristania; meaning: up tempo, bombastic songs with lots of keyboard "walls" and melodies, great guitar solos and hooks, excellent vocals and a great variety in melodies. Crossroads is a great symphonic prog metal album which you should listen to more than once and then you might get hooked on Elysian Gates; be sure to check them out on stage in Eindhoven on 19 November!!

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