Elysion – Someplace Better
Rating: 4 / 5
Elysion’s second album, Someplace Better¸ shows the Greek gothic metallers continuing their formula of short, simple, and catchy songs with dark, dreamy moods and electronic influences. It sounds a lot like the band’s 2009 debut CD Silent Scr3am at first, but several listens – or, even better, a shuffle mix of songs from both albums – reveals a slight shift. Nid and Johnny Zero’s guitarwork has grown subtly heavier and more dynamic. And since Christianna had only sung vocals on Silent Scr3am, Someplace Better is the first Elysion release to feature her lyrics and melodies. (Previous frontwoman Maxi Nil had penned the lyrics for Silent Scr3am before leaving Elysion to join Visions Of Atlantis in 2008.) Christianna’s writing style fits Elysion so well, it’s almost impossible to tell someone different is responsible this time.
The darkening shades in Elysion’s music can be heard on Someplace Better’s first two tracks, the nu-metal-esque “Made Of Lies” and the anthemic title track. “Our Fate” and “Breakfree” also showcase denser guitars but with faster tempos. Other tracks like “Fairytale,” “What Lies Beneath,” and “Awake” would have suited Silent Scr3am just as well as this new album had Elysion written them earlier in their career. As for ballads, Elysion adds a string quartet to “The Promise” and the acoustic “Transparent,” a lovely touch that works well on both songs.
Personally, I prefer Silent Scr3am over Someplace Better. None of the songs on the latter reach the same memorable heights as the former’s strongest moments. That doesn’t undermine the consistency heard from track to track on Someplace Better. This is a solid, satisfying follow-up that Elysion fans will sing along with and headbang to for the rest of the year. Fans of Evanescence, current-day Lacuna Coil, or H.I.M. who haven’t heard of Elysion before should also be pleased with what they find on Someplace Better.
Highlights: “Fairytale,” “Our Fate,” “Breakfree”
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Coming Soon: I’ve got a major release (in the world of female-fronted rock and metal) to cover in next week’s Mini-Review Monday: Hydra, the new album by symphonic metal titans Within Temptation. I’m also working on my WANACon February 2014 article, which I hope to have online in the next week or two.