Eleine - Until The End

Eleine - Until The End

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(CD, Black Lodge Records, 2018)

I don't like female fronted Symphonic Metal as it tends to be to very blunt, cheesy, weak and just a whole mess of instruments without edge. There are a few bands I tolerate but hardly something I listen to at home. That's why ELEINE came as a surprise when they opened for W.A.S.P., a few months back. I really liked their esthetics and appearance on stage but the sound wasn't on their side in Gothenburg. For the show in Helsingborg, a few weeks later, it was spot in. The intense riffs and the edge in the guitar playing came through and now this was certainly not weak and messy.

“Until The End” is ELEINE's second full-length album and is released almost three years after the self-titled debut, and this is a smack in the face. The dynamics in the opening “Story Untold” are there. The effect when all instruments except the bass are removed during the first vocal lines in the verse is genial. The dynamics make the song pop-out and to stick like super-glue. Also, the sound and production are phenomenal. It is modern, full and maxed out but there's still air in it, it is still dynamic. To get all of it together, with Madeleine “Eleine” Liljestam’s delicate voice towards Rikard Ekberg grunting, the guitars, keyboards, bass and drums and still have this amazing separation between the instruments is beyond me how they did it.

I guess another reason why I like “Until The End" is that it holds a lot of variance with second song “Echoes” being a basic Metal track. Riff-wise the track has resemblances with IN FLAMES around “Clayman” but topped off with Madeleine voice and a melancholic melody, sung in a way it feels like a lullaby - it's heavy and soft at the same time.

“Sanity” was released as a single a few weeks back and there is no question why this was picked; it's accessible, catchy and signifies much of what ELEINE is about. But as most times, the singles are not the songs that appeal to me the most. I think “Hell Moon (We Shall Never Die)” - which was the first taster outed from “Until The End” - is much more interesting. This one is a true epic, heavy and the whole feel over it is very fateful. The build-up to the chorus leans towards Progressive Metal and the response by the keyboards towards the guitars is awesome. It sounds fantastic. I perhaps need to re-label ELEINE as there is so much more to them than the things prominent for Symphonic Metal. “Whisper My Child” is very dark and doomy - LACUNA COIL is not far off a as a reference. The same can be mentioned for the title track, “Until The End”; it's something with the scales and harmonies that sets these songs apart from the rest, a slight oriental touch which the Italian band also uses. So, the record is definitely varied.

The first song that got stuck on me was “Another Rite”; a mid-tempo piece of music with a wonderful vocal line. The more the record spun though, the more familiar the melody became. It took forever to figure it out and it's not really that alike but holds the same geniality in writing. Also, the feel and the phrasing in the vocals have similarities with the HELLOWEEN hit “If I Could Fly”. It's a fantastic song and ELEINE's “Another Rite” also is great and remains a favorite from the album.

To compare “Until The End” with “Eleine”, it's clear the band has been working hard since the release of the debut. So, it's a good album but everything is a few steps up on this new one. Songwriting, creativity, uniqueness and musical performance all surpass “Eleine". I still tend to like the least Symphonic songs the most, but that's a matter of taste. I'm actually very impressed of what ELEINE have accomplished here and it's clear that genre is insignificant when music is played with passion (and amazing skills).





01. Story Untold
02. Echoes
03. Sanity
04. From The Grave
05. Whisper My Child
06. Until The End
07. Please
08. Another Rite
09. Hell Moon (We Shall Never Die)
10. Prelude: Arise
11. Break Take Live


Madeleine “Eleine” Liljestam - Vocals
Rikard Ekberg - Guitar, Vocals (additional)
Andreas Mårtensson - Bass
Sebastian Berglund - Keyboards
David Eriksson - Drums