Elis - _Griefshire_
(Napalm Records, 2006)
by: Quentin Kalis (
What in Beelzebub's name is gothic metal? The very name suggests metal with gothic elements, yet most bands cursed with this prefix to their description are nothing of the sort. I certainly can't find anything of such a nature on _Griefshire_; their clear female vocals, frequent upbeat nature (especially on "Die Stadt")and heavenly melodies hardly suggest an affinity for the anaemic arm-slicers. In my nowhere close to humble opinion, "gothic metal" is really just a lazy appellation for bands that are too soft to fall under the aegis of death or black metal and too loud for the vampire wannabes.Although I enjoy riding on the back of my favourite steed, The Tangent, I must start on the substance of this review. The major strength of this release can be found in the cherubic voice of Sabine. Hers is not the most potent voice, but its ethereal nature does the job perfectly. Tragically, Sabine died last December. However, her vocal parts had already been recorded, and given her close connection to "her baby", the remaining members have decided to proceed with its release. (Elis will apparently continue with new singer.)This is acceptable entrant to the world of female-fronted "gothic" metal and contains more variety in songwriting than many, ranging from slow ballads through to punchier numbers, but without being particularly outstanding. Nonetheless, it's still worth a peek -- one needs a break from pummelling death metal and ear-assaulting black metal at least once in a while!
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