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Elenium - 2009 - "Caught in a Wheel"

(48:13, Kampus)



1.  Human 0:25
2.  Challenger of Gravity 4:25
3.  The Escalator 5:23
4.  Of the Man Who Died 4:22
5.  Twelve 6:07
6.  Caught in a Wheel 3:16
7.  Trail of Beggars 4:19
8.  Eyes Grow Colder 5:56
9.  Velocity 9: 06


J  vocals
Tuomo Raisanen  basses
Kasperi Heikkinen  lead guitars
Tommi Leinonen  rhythm guitars
Johannes Salo  synthesizers
Jussi Raatikainen  drums

Prolusion. Here is a relatively young outfit from Finland, ironically named ELENIUM. Caught in a Wheel is their second full-length release and you wont relax while listening to it, you may believe me.

Analysis. Being aware that Human a tiny keyboard cut with which the CD begins is inseparably linked with its follow-up and that some posterior pieces have very similar keyboard intros, too, I feel free to take Caught in a Wheel as an eight-track outing. When that is done, the album appears as stylistically quite a uniform creation where only one of the songs (to be mentioned last of all) is on many levels different from the others. What we get in most cases here, namely on the songs Challenger of Gravity, The Escalator, Of the Man Who Died, Trail of Beggars, Caught in a Wheel and Eyes Grow Colder, is near-instantly accessible music which, nonetheless, meets the demands of the prog rock genre. I would with a light heart label it as neo-progressive symphonic Doom Metal, but the guitar riffs suggest a crossover between Power Metal and NWBHM, whilst the vocals are brutal and are only a bit milder than classic death-style singing. Of the several bands and recordings that can be used as reference points, Ive settled on Wildhoney by Swedens Tiamat. Really, it is enough to hear/recall the hardest songs from that album to realize that they could have served as Eleniums inspiration. Well, whether the Finnish guys are indeed influenced by their neighbors classic or not, keyboardist Johannes Salo and lead guitarist Kasperi Heikkinen (when soloing) each sound a lot like Waldemars Sorychtas and Magnus Sahlgrens apprentice in absentia, respectively. And shoot me down if the slow, space rock-tinged Twelve isnt similar to Planets from the same Wildhoney. To dot all is and cross all ts regarding the album I should only mention that, with the exception of Trail of Beggars, all the tracks from the discs imaginary Side B are richer in art-rock-like as well as vocal-free arrangements than the others, the closing one, Velocity, being largely instrumental and generally the most progressively saturated piece, reminiscent of mid-90s Threshold in approach.

Conclusion. The bands own definition of their music, brutal Techno Metal, doesnt correspond to the actual state of affairs, unless they played so on their previous outing, For Giving for Getting (2004), which I havent heard. As to the hero of this occasion, it is only in the very finale of its title track where the music takes the shape of Black Metal a style that requires more technical skill than the one we witness most of the time here. Nonetheless, this is a fairly impressive creation, free of any faults on the one hand and full of mysterious, captivating atmosphere on the other. If you enjoy progressive Doom Metal (no I didnt make a slip: only think a modified, speeded-up variant of the genre) with growling, dont hesitate to check out this disc.

VM=Vitaly Menshikov: November 10, 2009
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