ELVENKING – Two Tragedy Poets (…and a Caravan of Weird Figures)

  • 8/10
    ELVENKING - Two Tragedy Poets (...and a Caravan of Weird Figures) - 8/10


AFM Records
Release Date: April 7, 2009

User Review
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When you think of Italian Folk Metal, Elvenking is probably the first band that comes to mind. In a genre that isn’t populated by huge names, this group has garnered quite a devoted following. Since forming in the late nineties, Elvenking has also succeeded in dividing a lot of their fans. The Scythe was a release that some were quick to pan and there were plenty of others that were keen to praise it, too.

Elvenking’s latest endeavor is sure to cause significantly less argument about whether the band is true to its folk roots. But it certainly won’t be heralded for its heaviness. For Two Tragedy Poets, electric guitars have, for the most part, been done away with. Because of this, by no means is there a metallic feel to this stuff. If you consider shredding a requisite for greatness, this is definitely not an album for you. This seeming deficiency also allows the Folk Rock feel to come to the fore. Although Two Tragedy Poets is a predominantly acoustic release, it still succeeds in moving along at a fast clip.

One need only listen to “Another Awful Hobs Tale” or to “Ask a Silly Question” and they’ll see that Elvenking hasn’t gone entirely soft. Damnagoras’ (vocals) tone remains as inspired as it always has and the rest of the band keeps things from lagging. Tunes like “My Own Spider’s Web” and “She Lives at Dawn” mix things up nicely by bringing out a more introspective side.

Although many of the songs on here are well crafted, there are some awkward moments. The cover of Belinda Carlisle’s “Heaven is a Place on Earth” can only be thought of as tacky. Towards the end of “Not My Final Song”, Damnagoras launches into a strange little diatribe that’s a bit too eccentric for many tastes.

Whether or not Two Tragedy Poets will cause Elvenking’s fan base to grow is anyone’s guess. Fans of past works will have plenty to sink their teeth into. And whenever a band is willing to experiment with their sound by changing it up, it’s difficult to fault them unless they cause a fiery train wreck. For those well versed in Elvenking and anyone needing a break from heavy guitars, Two Tragedy Poets deserves your attention.

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