Ruins Of Elysium – Amphitrite: Ancient Sanctuary In The Sea
Release Date: 15/01/2021
Running Time: 73:24
Review by Beth Jones
I love a bit of Power, Symphonic, and Operatic Metal. Its grandeur has an appeal to me. So, I was pretty pleased to get “Amphitrite: Ancient Sanctuary In The Sea”, the new album from Ruins Of Elysium.
Fronted by Tenor, Drake Chrisdensen, Ruins Of Elysium have set out to create a new breed of operatic metal “relying only on the male operatic voice” according to their press release. And that should be right up my street. I’m going to cut to the chase straight away and say that this album is just not quite floating my boat, but that has nothing to do with the actual sound, or indeed Drake’s voice, which is superb.
The album is billed as “A round-the-world trip in 12 songs, since it borrows a lot from Folk Metal, and folk songs, but not only the Celtic folk style already known in Metal. From the Scandinavian Nyckelharpa to the unique sound of Middle Eastern music, to Japanese traditional instruments, to Brazilian and African rhythms, that gave inspiration to samba and capoeira.” And while this is strong and visible in some places, ‘Okami – Mother Of The Sun’ for example, I don’t think I’m getting it as intensely as Ruins Of Elysium had intended. Musically, the album is mostly made up of classic symphonic vehicles – harmonic 5ths and floating melodies which are very pretty, lots of low strings creating a full bass sound, and lots of choral vocal harmony, that enhance the melody, and are well constructed. However, the melodies in which these traveling folk sounds have been positioned make them less of a theme, more of an idea to try and connect the bulk of the song to a specific place.
I’m really struggling with how this whole thing has been put together, too. Firstly, there are places that the drums simply don’t fit with what’s going on in the rest of the orchestration. And I don’t think this has anything to do with the actual drummer, who is very skilled. I think this is a production problem.
There’s also just far too much going on a lot of the time. So many ideas and changes are crammed into each song, that it lapses into the realms of bitty and discordant quite regularly, and this makes it difficult to listen to.
The album features a number of guest female vocalists. This first appears in the opening track, ‘Alexiel – An Epic Lovestory’. Personally, I think they’re a little harsh and didn’t really enhance the track. Drake has a magnificent voice, and just letting that do the talking would have been, for me, a preferable option.
I actually feel really bad about how harsh this review sounds, because these guys are obviously super talented, and trying to do something new and different with this album, which should be applauded. But I really think they need to move forward with the vision of ‘less is more’ – we don’t always need the kitchen sink thrown in too, to make the sound different and fresh.
One thing I will say though is that ‘The Ocean Is Yemanja’s’ is a superb track. While it still has many changes, they make more sense and don’t interrupt the flow, which makes it a much more complete listen. And from this point, things do become more harmoniously constructed. Sadly, this is quite close to the end of the album.
Sorry guys. You can’t like everything I suppose, and I would suggest that everyone gives this album a listen so they can make their own mind up about it, because what do I know, this is just my opinion!
‘Atlas’ (Lyric Video)
01. Alexiel – An Epic Lovestory (Ft. Melissa Ferlaak)
02. Queen Of The Seven Seas
05. Oceanic Operetta
07. Book Of Seals
09. Okami – Mother Of The Sun (Ft. Föxx Salema)
10. The Ocean Is Yemanja’s (Ft. Rayssa Monroy & Zaiiah)
11. Cathedral Of Cascades
12. Canzone Del Mare (Canção do Mar)
Drake Chrisdensen – Tenor
Vincenzo Avallone – Guitars and Bass
Icaro Ravelo – Drums and Synths
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