The Elysian Fields - _Suffering G.O.D. Almighty_
(Black Lotus, 2005)
by: Pedro Azevedo (6 out of 10)
I was captivated by the mixture of powerful riffs and outstanding melodic, emotional passages on The Elysian Fields' 1998 effort _We... the Enlightened_. Briskly paced death and emotional doom metal were combined in an innovative way, and the result was remarkable at the time -- indeed obliterating their debut _Adelain_. Alas, _WtE_'s successor, 2001's _12 Ablaze_, turned out to be a rather soulless album. Now the Greek trio have returned with another effort, and the possibility of a return to form made me want to investigate. It soon becomes apparent that this time the balance leans very heavily towards electronics, rather than acoustic strings or doomy influences. Seven years is a long time, and it wouldn't have been fair to expect their sound to remain unchanged from _WtE_; the question is whether The Elysian Fields have succeeded in making their new, techno-oriented death metal style work as well as their old one did on that album.

The distinctive, throaty death vocals are still present throughout, which is pleasant to hear. The guitars and artificial drums also tend to sound familiar, and occasionally some of the more organic keyboard work is also reminiscent of their past. Similarities end there however, because their songwriting now revolves around techno-styled keyboard work for the most part -- and that marks the album's downfall for me. It is therefore essentially the way they communicate their music to the listener that has changed; and unfortunately, the result is unsatisfying, as TEF seem unable to recover their inspiration of yore. Compared to their old strings and piano, these songs seem emotionally barren and smothered in happy keyboards. Sure there are some good riffs and passages, some good keyboard work as well in places, but they don't seem able to put five minutes of their admittedly good music together without inserting some annoying passages as well. Still, _Suffering G.O.D. Almighty_ is not a bad album, and it might well be worth checking out if you don't mind techno in your metal. However, as far as I am concerned, it just shows The Elysian Fields have taken another large step farther away from what I like about their music, and in my opinion reeks of wasted, misguided potential.


(article published 19/9/2005)

9/1/2002 P Azevedo 7.5 The Elysian Fields - 12 Ablaze
11/19/1998 P Schwarz 8 The Elysian Fields - We... the Enlightened
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