Elend - _Les Tenebres du Dehors_
(Holy Records, 1997)
by: Pedro Azevedo (no rating)
I haven't rated this album because I can't compare it to any other album ever reviewed here. So why rate it? I chose not to. This is an album that really depends on the listener, this could be a masterpiece for some and just a weird uninteresting album for others. How the hell do I even start describing this album?!? Well... let's say that if you haven't heard these guys yet, then this is -not- what you're thinking. First off, this is -not- a metal album. Elend do -not- use guitars, bass, or the usual drums. This is -extremely- dark classical music combined with black metal vocals. Still with me? So you want to know how they do it? Elend are a four-piece band from France, featuring two female vocalists (two sopranos) and two other guys who take care of all the songwriting, spoken, and whispered vocals, black metal screams (and I mean SCREAMS), violin, piano, viola, and overall orchestral synths and keyboards. I must state that both these guys used to play in orchestras, and so did the female singers, so they're not exactly a few pretentious guys who think they can do this stuff - they actually have all the knowledge and training to back them up. Now why would these guys be reviewed here? Well, because both of the band's founders were (and are) very much into death and black metal and their intention was precisely to mix these musical styles with classical music. Basically, take a piece of classical music, turn it into something truly dark, magnificent, deep, melodic, and -not- cheesy, and add two sweet female voices, one male voice and, very often, black metal screams that sound as if they came from beyond. It's really hard for me to describe Elend any better, you just have to listen to it. What I can tell you is that several other metallers have liked Elend as much as I have. If you're into either symphonic black metal or just doom, you really should try this. The album is over 60 minutes long, and Elend manage to apply an unbelievably dark and moody feel to the sort of structures and melodies one would expect of a classical piece, just that on top of this they are just so intense, so violent, and yet so melodic... No way I'll be choosing favourite tracks or whatever on this one, as they vary from soft melodic pieces with whispered female vocals and violins to powerful, truly dark pieces with the most tortured, anguished and extreme black metal screams I can recall enjoying. It's just all so intense... one minute the music soothes you, the next minute takes you to the depths of despair and anger. Just a final note for the great digi-pak, featuring some true artwork from such artists as Victor Hugo and Da Vinci, all about this album's theme, which is basically Elend's version of the Luciferian revolution (very good lyrics, by the way). This is such an emotionally powerful album that it leaves you cold inside when you finish listening to it... like you have been taken on some journey beyond. Be warned that this is not an album for everyone to like, and you really must be in a very special mood to fully enjoy it. It really has to be heard to be believed. Unique.

(article published 9/4/1997)


ALBUMS
6/23/2007 P Azevedo 9 Elend - A World in Their Screams
8/31/2004 P Azevedo 9.5 Elend - Sunwar the Dead
7/24/2003 P Azevedo 9 Elend - Winds Devouring Men
7/8/1998 P Azevedo 9 Elend - The Umbersun
10/16/1997 P Azevedo 8 Elend - Weeping Nights
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