Elend - _A World in Their Screams_
(Prophecy Productions, 2007)
by: Pedro Azevedo (9 out of 10)
_A World in Their Screams_ is Elend's third album of their "Winds" series, and it seems that due to a change of plans it will also be the last in said series. It is their second consecutive album without solo soprano Nathalie Barbary, who is again replaced by Esteri Rémond. Some of the orchestral arrangements have been done with synthethisers this time around, but in truth it is unlikely anyone will notice given the quality of the outcome. There is also a lot of electronics and noise coming into some of the tracks and complementing those orchestral elements, to a greater extent than before.

Having started this sequence of albums very well with _Winds Devouring Men_ back in 2003, Elend then delivered the superb _Sunwar the Dead_ in 2004. Three years have passed since then, which along with the decision to make _A World in Their Screams_ the closing chapter seems to hint at the creation process being somewhat more convoluted this time around. However it was that they got here, the result is Elend's darkest album since 1998's _The Umbersun_ -- with which it shares some similarities, despite their sound being much updated since then.

Midway through the impressive opener, you can already hear that this album is going to be a culmination of the darkness that gathered during its predecessors. The mixture of percussion, noise, orchestra, soprano choir and male spoken passages on the ensuing title track has the listener firmly in their grip. The noise element gets quite violent at one point in this track, but everything seems to make sense together, and Elend's ability when mixing these elements is staggering (apart from the annoying effects on "Je Rassemblais tes Membres"). Older fans will notice some screaming towards the end of the album; while it is quite unlike the black-like shrieks of old, this distorted screaming nevertheless serves a similarly useful purpose amidst the dense musical atmosphere of carnage and despair.

Throughout the album there is much to admire, much as one might admire the minutiae of strange and often terrifying, but nonetheless captivating sculptures lining the path to hell. Indeed, calling this the ideal soundtrack for a descent to hell would be a gross cliché, but no less true for that.

_A World in Their Screams_ does not strike me as better than its predecessor, but it still has great appeal of its own. It complements the series very well and entirely justifies its place, even if it is not my favourite as a whole. As for what comes next now that this sequence has ended: considering the changes that occured in the five year silence between Elend's first and second series of albums, one can hardly begin to imagine what might be when they return.

Contact: http://www.elend-music.org

(article published 23/6/2007)

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
4/9/1997 P Azevedo Elend - Les Tenebres du Dehors
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