Rating:
8.5
Elvenking - Era
14 September 2012


01. The Loser
02. I Am The Monster [feat. Jon Oliva]
03. Midnight Skies, Winter Sighs
04. A Song For The People
05. Animals
06. Through Wolf's Eyes
07. Walking Dead
08. Forget-Me-Not
09. Poor Little Baroness
10. The Time Of Your Life
11. Chronicle Of A Frozen Era
12. Ophale
13. Khanjar [Limited edition bonus]
14. Grey Inside [Digipack edition bonus]
15. I Am The Monster [Damna's vocals only] [Digipack edition bonus]


Elvenking seem to have fun in alternating great albums with releases which, without being Lulus, still disappoint a bit. I mean: after the great The Winter Wake came the pretty forgettable The Scythe, and the same happened for Two Tragedy Poets and its successor Red Silent Tides. This should be the turn of the great album, have the Italian folk metallers maintained this trend?

They totally have. Honestly, I was quite worried about this album when the first single - "Poor Little Baroness", a totally average song at first glance - came out. It seemed to me that the band was following the same bourgeois tendencies which ruled in Red Silent Tides. Luckily, I was wrong.

This is an album which, in many ways, reminded me of The Winter Wake. Elvenking retrieved their folk soul, but not simply a revival of past years. They melt together many genres, making the most of the various experiences achieved: in this album are easily noticeable power, emo/metalcore and modern metal influences.

The band's real merit has been to mix everything perfectly, forging a coherent yet variegated piece of art, that enchants from beginning to end. This album avoids the limit that is often found in many power metal releases: to lose its legs in the second half. On the contrary, the middle part, from "We, Animals" to "Walking Dead", is easily the best of the whole album, and can summarize the various faces of Era, by varying in style and themes.

The guys never disappointed in the instrumental parts, and show once again their mastery through two enjoyable instrumental tracks: "Ophale" and "Khanjar". Special mention to new drummer Symohn's work: really skillful and varied, able to carry the entire song alone.

Last, but not the least, the lyrics. This is a realm in which Elvenking's lyricists always show the best of themselves, and Era is no exception. Lyrics-wise, this is a darker album then the previous ones, and it's also more intense and introspective. Many songs deal with human nature and condition, often with a negative and pessimistic view, and the only two songs which speak about love are "Through Wolf's Eyes" - a reinterpretation of the well-known fairy-tale of "Little Red Riding Hood", seen through the unlucky wolf's point of view - and the aforesaid "Poor Little Baroness", which deals with love in a obscure and quite cynical way.

Overall, this is an album which totally deserves every folk/power lover's attention, great in accessibility and freshness. Let's just hope Elvenking has started a new Era, in which they will succeed in composing two consecutive quality albums.

Performance: 10
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Production: 9


Band profile: Elvenking
Album: Era


 


written by R Lewis | 09.01.2013


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.



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Pitwulf93 - 09.01.2013 at 18:53  
But Poor Little Baroness is my favorite song on the album :O Along with A Song for the People.

From best album to worst, I would go with: The Scythe, The Winter Wake, Wyrd, Red Silent Tides, Era, Heathenreel, Two Tragedy Poets.
R Lewis - 09.01.2013 at 19:04  
Written by Pitwulf93 on 09.01.2013 at 18:53

But Poor Little Baroness is my favorite song on the album :O Along with A Song for the People.

From best album to worst, I would go with: The Scythe, The Winter Wake, Wyrd, Red Silent Tides, Era, Heathenreel, Two Tragedy Poets.

Well, this shows two totally different ways to see Elvenking
WorpeX - 11.01.2013 at 01:16  
The Scythe is my favorite too. Haven't listened to the full album of Poets, Tides or Era but i've heard a few songs from each and haven't heard anything which sounded good. From Era, i've heard Poor LIttle Baroness, I am the monster and the loser. None of them were all that interesting to me.
R'Vannith - 11.01.2013 at 14:13  
This album is a little catchier in the folk department but they've long since lost the Power to their Power metal. Pretty weak I found.
AngelofDeth - 15.05.2014 at 01:12  
Written by Pitwulf93 on 09.01.2013 at 18:53

From best album to worst, I would go with: The Scythe, The Winter Wake, Wyrd, Red Silent Tides, Era, Heathenreel, Two Tragedy Poets.

I third this top 3, The Scythe is Elvenking perfection!

didn't like RST and have yet to give this album a proper listen because I didn't like the single, will give it a shot though.

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