|Elfonía - This Sonic Landscape
8 November 2005
05. ... De Los Libros Del Tiempo
With Stream of Passion, Marcela Bovio and Alejandro Millán have been becoming more and more known to the Progressive Rock and Metal community during the last year. If you figure Elfonía is similar to Stream of Passion you are wrong. Well, not quite because Marcela's voice and singing style is a common facet of both bands. However, if it's comparison that you want, try Ann-Mari Edvardsen and "Painting on Glass" era The 3rd and the Mortal and elaborate from there.
Why did I say elaborate? In a nutshell, Elfonía's self-titled debut album released two years earlier sounds like something that, given certain conditions, could have come from The 3rd and the Mortal's closet after "Painting on Glass" was released. However, that doesn't mean Elfonía is a copy band. It's just that The 3rd and the Mortal have such a strong influence on their music. That influence and the debut album combined have formed a strong springboard for the band to explore various experimental directions in music. It took the band two years and heaps of new experiences to come out with "This Sonic Landscape." Nowadays the band advertises itself as a rock band with influences of Jazz, Doom, Gothic, Atmospheric and Progressive Rock and Metal.
That is the reason why "This Sonic Landscape" is so hard to pinpoint. The atmosphere is the main keyword. The music relies very much on the calm aerial melancholic background, often accompanied with the impression of vast halls or an August evening by the moor with Marcela's voice echoing high above it. Add to it groovy bass lines, drums that are precise and rich in change, guitars that go from acoustic to heavy riffing and keyboards going from piano to completely dry synthetic sound and you are getting close to what "This Sonic Landscape" represents. If nothing more, this album is Progressive in nature at the very least.
The album starts off with the fourth part of "Gigantes." As the band describe it, the intention was to create an album of cyclic nature. Where the album finally ends, it continues on if played again. Being the mix of many influences the album doesn't remain in one direction long. On one hand songs that start quiet tend to venture in to the realm of heavy riffs, on the other you get songs built around a distinct guitar base like "Camaleón" - with a guest appearance of Arjen Lucassen - and "Mañana" with a funky touch and groovy drive. As already mentioned, the album finishes with "Gigantes," which has its fourth part at the beginning of the album, a grand song of growing nature and grand feeling. "Gigantes" which translates to giants is a fitting title for the song of such structure.
Marcela's singing style fits exceptionally well with Elfonía's music. Her high and beautiful voice being enchanting, she often sings melodies without supporting lines from other instruments and given the structure of the music her voice is like another musical instrument and fits like a glove. Furthermore, Marcela sings mostly in Spanish and maybe because this language is completely foreign to me or because Spanish is her native tongue, it all sounds very well fitting with the music and is flowing freely.
Elfonía has made a huge step forward with this album creating a varied work. While Elfonía have picked up the beginning of the experimental path laid by The 3rd and the Mortal they are not exploring it as far, yet. However, experimenting and exploring will probably remain the driving force behind their music. I just hope that will not venture to leave the riffing guitars and roots behind and remain an experimental Rock or Metal band above all.
Written on 21.07.2006 by
I shoot people.
Sometimes, I also write about it.