ELIS – Griefshire

ELIS - Griefshire
  • 7.5/10
    ELIS - Griefshire - 7.5/10


Label: Napalm Records
Release date: November 27, 2006

User Review
10/10 (1 vote)

The Swiss/Liechtenstein Gothic/Doom Metal quintet, Elis, released their first full-length album, Twilight, under the band name Erben Der Schöpfung in 2001. Before releasing the second album, God’s Silence, Devil’s Temptation in 2003, they changed their name to Elis. Griefshire is their third release with the band name Elis, and it was planned for release in late 2006 or early 2007. The reason for the delay with the release was that the band wanted to complete a tour with Leaves’ Eyes and Atrocity. But, things didn’t turn out as planned. On July 8, 2006, vocalist Sabine Dünser died of a cerebral hemorrhage; 29 years old. Griefshire was released in Sabine’s memory.

Shortly before she died, Dünser had completed the recording of the vocal tracks on the record, and only because she had always referred to Griefshire as her “baby,” the band decided to complete the record in her honor. Griefshire is a concept album that tells the story of two brothers, their religious fanaticism, their search for salvation, and their longing for eternal truth and love.

“Tales From Heaven Or Hell” is the album starter. It begins with sounds of rain, strings, and keyboards, and jumps right into the heavy and fast Goth Metal riffs. Dünser’s vocals are not outstanding and unique in the way that Tarja Turunen or Sharon den Adel are, but her voice is beautiful and fits the music well, although it might seem a little boring at times. The music gets extremely mighty towards the end. First, there is a guitar solo that’s relieved by choirs, accompanied by the double bass drum and a really heavy riff.

“Brothers” is a more power ballad-like song that starts off slow, but heavy, then Dünser’s vocals enter and set the mood with the keyboards. The riff is really massive and slow, and here come the first grunts on the record, provided by bassist Tom Saxer. The only weakness within this song is at the end where there is only the guitar left, and it is faded out way to fast. If you DO feel the strange urge to fade songs, then for God’s sake, fade them slow, not fast!

“Phoenix From The Ashes” is probably the best song on Griefshire. It begins with a slow and heavy riff, accompanied by some strings. Then the riff picks up the pace and becomes more technical. There are some nice vocal harmonies on this track and a guitar solo that’s very atypical for the genre, but it fits the song nicely.

Griefshire is, along with the rest of Elis’ records, produced by the band’s manager: Alexander Krull. The production sounds good and the music is so powerful and grandiose at times that it’s a thrill when listening. By including strings, harps, and choirs, they’ve succeeded in making the orchestral parts very strong.

It’s a good thing that they’ve put so much variation into the album. Between the heavy riffs that are so typical for the genre, there are also the ballads “How Long” and “Forgotten Love.” There are some aggressive and mighty riffs on this record, and if you like forceful and strong Melodic Gothic/Doom Metal, this is a recommended purchase.


Sabine Dünser – Vocals
Pete Streit – Guitar
Chris Gruber – Guitar
Tom Saxer – Bass, Grunts
Max Naescher – Drums


  1. Tales from Heaven or Hell
  2. Die Stadt
  3. Show me the Way
  4. Brothers
  5. Seit dem Anbeginn der Zeit
  6. Remember the Promise
  7. Phoenix from the Ashes
  8. How Long
  9. Innocent Hearts
  10. Forgotten Love
  11. The Burning
  12. A New Decade


  • Kristian Singh-Nergård

    Kristian is one of the partners at Metal Express Radio. He is Metal Express Radio's Marketing and Communications Manager, and on occasions also reviewer and photographer. Based out of Oslo, Norway, Kristian is a bass player and owner of the independent record label Pug-Nose Records. He has been a proud member of the Metal Express Radio crew since 2006.

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