Rating:
8.0
Elend - Sunwar The Dead
2004


01. Chaomphalos
02. Ardour
03. Sunwar The Dead
04. Ares In Their Eyes
05. The Hemlock Sea
06. Le Terre N'aime Pas Le Sang
07. A Song Of Ashes
08. Laceration
09. Poliorketika
10. Blood And Grey Skies Entwined
11. Threnos


Ensemble work recorded at Studio des Moines.
Solo work recorded at The Fall.
Engineered and produced by Hasnawi/Roland/Tschirner at The Fall.
Texts by Hasnawi, with excerpts from Hesiodus' Theogonia, Archilochus (apud Stobaeum), Aeschylus' Septem contra Thebas and Persae, Euripides' Hecuba, Xenophon's Anabasis, Arthur Rimbaud's Vers nouveaux et chansons, T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land and Landscapes.


Elend is an Austrian/French combo of… Well hum… That's hard to classify this very original combo, and I could say that it's Gothic/Symphonic. Here don't expect electric guitars and this kind of instruments. In fact, we are rather in the category of bands like Chaostar. Something beautiful, but a kind of intellectual music very, very hard of access for the majority of mortals that we are.

"Sunwar The Dead", the new album of the band, is something magic. This kind of albums that will disturb you a lot due to its really great production first, but above all in reason of the originality of the music. "Sunwar The Dead" is really dark but also really epic, and the numerous arrangements with strings (cello, violin etc) and real percussions are really impressive. If you add the great voices of the singer, you can understand that this album is something really original.
The thing that's the most touching however is the general atmosphere that the band generates. Something sad and beautiful but also very disturbing because of the darkness of the music. This is certainly more gothic than the majority of bands playing "Gothic" music nowadays. For example with Elend, we are not too far from a Dead Can Dance. Then you can understand that this kind of bands will never be easy of access for everybody. In fact that's the real problem for me with Elend. In its style, this is perfect but it will be hard for the majority of the classic Metal Heads to be totally dazzled by this kind of music. I have the feeling that this music is a bit "too much" intellectual sometimes. And in the end, this music could suffer from the fact that it's only for a little part of Metal lovers, the ones who really like real music...
However the production of "Sunwar The Dead" is perfect and all the classical instruments that you'll find in this album have a great sound. That's impressive, I say it again, but again when you listen to this album with your big stereo you will stay several minutes asking yourself what's happening. This is beautiful, original and totally uncommon, if you like this type of music then this album is a real curiosity, trust me.

Elend shows us again that one can play music in the Metal family which doesn't sound Metal. This is no big deal if you are open-minded, because in that case I'm sure that you'll love this album. A pure jewel of real Gothic music but however I say it again, really difficult of access…. Well, all the fans of Chaostar and this kind of bands will be dazzled by this album. If you don't know this music, give it a try, it deserves to be known…


 


written by Jeff | 07.10.2004



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Nasi2 - 15.01.2007 at 14:16  
A dark, beautiful, disturbing and atmospheric album. It works as the perfect soundtrack to the perfect nightmare. The moaning of the singer, the frightening explorations of abstract music, the violent and unexpected choirs... just amazing, pure art. Every album of Elend stands as as their masterpiece, and Sunwar the dead is anything but a predictable album. Highly recomended.
Dark†SymphonY - 01.09.2010 at 15:37  
This is definitly an impressive album, but my favourite still stands The Umbersun.

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