ELIS – Dark Clouds In A Perfect Sky

ELIS - Dark Clouds In A Perfect Sky


Napalm Records
Release date: October 4, 2004

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Judging from the album title, cover, and depressed-faces-and-long-hair-waving-in-the-wind band pictures, this looked very much like a new Gothic Metal album … and so it is. All the ingredients are present here – heavy guitars, soprano vocals, Death Metal grunts and sniveling lyrics (although sometimes sung in the very melancholy language of German). This style of music can be entertaining, by all means, but unfortunately this album is a bit too average to cause a thrill.

The best songs are “Anger” and “Black Angels;” both songs with strong choruses and completely “okay” melodies. Also, “Der Letzte Tag,” “Rebirth,” and “Lost Soul,” are above average tracks (if one ignores the fact that these are as original as my grandmother’s views on immigration policy). There’s nothing directly wrong with the rest of the material either … the songs just fail to engage. They’re almost like the fat and sweaty friend of the hot chick you’re trying to bag – the friend who’s chattering and chattering, and surely has plenty of things to say, but ends up being just an annoying nuisance in the background.

The band has gone for a more guitar-based approach throughout than many other bands in this genre – very often the guitars just lay down a foundation for the keys and vocals to swirl upon, but here they have worked more with both riffs, harmonies, and solos. This could be a neat variation, and some of the riffs are actually pretty cool – “Der Letzte Tag” and “Lost Soul” for example. Unfortunately, although guitarist Pete Streit definitely has some chops, he attempts technicalities beyond his level here, and the result is not at all pleasant to the ear. Still, his use of pinch harmonics is cool 🙂

Singer Sabine Duenser too has an okay voice, but nothing special. She sings in tune, and does some nice harmonies during some of the choruses, but she doesn’t stand out as the genre-defining voice of someone like Tarja Turunen or Kimberly Goss.

So there’s still some work to do, folks, and although there’s no doubt that this band can someday go very far, this is not the album to get them there. We’ll just have to wait for the band’s next record to see if they’ll make it to the next level. Schnell bitte!


  • Torgeir P. Krokfjord

    Torgeir was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. After hearing Malmsteen's "Vengeance" on a guitar mag CD at the age of 12 or 13, he began doing hopeless interpretations of Yngwie licks and it just took off from there. After shorter stints at other zines he was snatched to Metal Express Radio in 2003. Alongside Yngwie, Savatage, WASP, Symphony X, Blind Guardian, Emperor, Arch Enemy, In Flames, Opeth, Motörhead, Manowar, and Queensrÿche are a quick list of musical faves. Torgeir is also guitarist in the Heavy/Prog/Thrash outfit Sarpedon.

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