ELDEROTH is a power/progressive metal band based out of the city of Montreal, Quebec, formed […]
April 23, 2015
Elderoth - Mystic album cover

ELDEROTH is a power/progressive metal band based out of the city of Montreal, Quebec, formed in 2007. Following the 2012 release of their first, self-titled album, this new album entitled "Mystic" contains nine tracks. The opening instrumental "Within" answers my first question as to why there is Japanese writing all over the promotional material. It has a distinct Eastern influence to the overall sound, driven to the speeds of heavy metal music. "Black and Blue" is a fast paced rocker, laden with keyboards, and a near perfect marriage of power and prog. Like DRAGONFORCE mating with PAGAN'S MIND, it is unabashedly melodic and accessible, but still surprising in terms of the dynamic shifting we hear in lots of prog music.

I have to say that the vocals have just the right amount of presence in the track, not overly done in the high ranges as can sometimes accompany music in this genre. In addition, they nimbly hit the segues between riff and meter changes with all the agility of a cat ninja-ing his way out of  capture. "This Shadow by my Side" was released as the first single to the album. The rhythmic hints of d-jent are a little more pronounced here, but they blend in nicely with the Japanese strings and vocal harmonies. Their music can easily turn dark here at times as well, like a storm cloud whisked in by strong winds. A skillfully crafted guitar solo extends well into the end of the song, accentuating the melody. "My Future" is another really well written track, with glittering keys dancing in and around the main riff and melody line, creating a totally memorable track that lingers long after you have stopped listening. "Falling Star" really embraces the Japanese influence of the album, but quickly morphs with brutal, choppy guitar riffs covered in lush vocal harmonies.

I have never quite heard something where the heaviness of the guitars is met so well in unison with the brightness of the melody. Once again a guitar solo heavy with chorus shines strongly over the end of the track, with nimble fingering and the creational sensibilities of a composer like STEVE VAL. "In a Dream" has that ethereal quality that is foggy at first but soon clears up. The melodic side of the album is on full display here, sounding like something you might hear on the radio even, or at least should be able to hear on the radio. The chorus is simply beautiful, and the crescendo of sound comes together with inspiring might and wondrous awe. "The Ocean" by contrast is a bit more gritty, dark and hard hitting, but still with very pleasing harmonies and overall construction. They really play well with your emotions here with a strong sense of hope tempered with just enough despair as any divine tragedy does so well. "Far in the Sea" roars in with a speedy tempo and a yearning that can't be satisfied. The varied vocal parts work very well together over the flurry of keys and drums. Closing the album is the poignant and curious instrumental "Always Remember." This track builds with bliss at each new point of change but keeps a central sound that echoes throughout. There isn't even close to being one filler track on this album, and I did not want the listening experience to end.

Strong prog-metal is usually reserved for DREAM THEATER and the countries of Europe. But this album has put the entire community on notice. Name recognition will only take you so far. This music is fresh, crisp and chocked full of melodies, and keeps one step ahead of you, making you long for more.

9 / 10

Almost Perfect

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"Mystic" Track-listing:

1. Within
2. Black and Blue
3. This Shadow By My Side
4. My Future
5. Falling Star
6. In A Dream
7. The Ocean
8. Far In The Sea
9. Always Remember

Elderoth Lineup:

Collin McGee - Vocals & Guitars
Xavier Sperdouklis - Bass
Victor Mattos - Guitars (live)
Phillippe Landryx - Drums (session)
Jonathan Vezina - Vocals (live)

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