Ascending in Synergy


Even without reiventing Symphonic Metal, this German quintet really created a fine release.
April 10, 2024

Symphonic Metal tendencies have existed for a long time. Back in the 70s, DEEP PURPLE (with 1969’s “Concerto for Group and Orchestra”), BLACK SABBATH (who used such elements on “Spiral Architect” and “Supertzar”) and QUEEN (“A Night at the Opera” depicts the use of symphonic elements, and who can forget a piece as “Bohemian Rhapsody”?). on the 80s, CELTIC FROST give a step ahead with “To Mega Therion” and (mainly) “Into the Pandemonium”. THERION recovered the formula and improved things with “Theli” and “Vovin”, and NIGHTWISH caused two revolutions: with “Oceanborn” (creating a symphonic way focusing on the use of Tarja’s lyrical/opera-like voice) and “Century Child” (when the music of the band became not as technical and elaborated, and so on, more palatable for a broader public). This is the load that the German quintet ELVELLON carries, as heard on “Ascending in Synergy”, their second full-length.

Gilbert Gelsdorf (the band’s guitarist) is the producer, and worked on the recording and mixing along with Beray Habip, and the mastering was done by Mika Jussila. The idea was to use a model for Symphonic Metal sonority and improve things, but with the care of making things heavy (during the guitar parts, that aren’t hiding behind a heavy curtain of keyboards, as is usual for many Symphonic Metal acts) and understandable. And what a lovely and sober work of Péter Sallai on the cover! Musically, the quintet works on the accessible side of Symphonic Metal, what mean that they evade the unneeded technical exaggerations and complexity in favor of a more ample and accessible music for a wider range of public, with traces of Folk Rock and even Pop Rock. Of course this model is already known, but in their hands things work refreshed and new, with excellent melodic hooks and choruses, and a new energy that links the past of the genre with the present is what offered. And if you’re a Symphonic Metal fan, you better take it, and you won’t regret such experience.

“Ascending in Synergy” depicts a mature band that knows what they’re doing, and even with potential to make even better music, it’s not a sin to fall in love with moments as “Unbound” (an excellent and grandiose song, with excellent lyrical vocals and charming arrangements from keyboards and guitars), “A Vagabond’s Heart” (here the band works on a more accessible way in many moments, with an amazing chorus and charming keyboards contrasting with the silk vocals), “My Forever Endeavour” (where some Folk Rock and World Music influences arises in the middle of the melodies, creating an accessible feeling once more, and what lovely playing from bass guitar and drums can be heard, giving the right rhythmic sustain to the song), “The Aftermath of Life” (again the contrasts between heavier riffs with the tender vocals are excellent), “Into the Vortex” (a song with a more complex appeal in some moments, and with abrasive weight expression on the guitars), “A Legacy Divine” (a charming and tender set of melodies are laid for the vocals show their value) and “Epiphany of Mine”. But remember: all the songs are very good.

As a second album, “Ascending to Synergy” is really a surprising release for showing such maturity. But as told above, ELVELLON has more aces on their sleeve to show.

9 / 10

Almost Perfect








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"Ascending in Synergy" Track-listing:
  1. Unbound
  2. A Vagabond’s Heart
  3. My Forever Endeavour
  4. Ocean of Treason
  5. The Aftermath of Life
  6. Last of our Kind
  7. Into the Vortex
  8. A Legacy Divine
  9. The Aeon Tree
  10. Epiphany of Mine
Elvellon Lineup:

Nele Messerschmidt - Vocals
Gilbert Gelsdorf - Guitars
Pascal Pannen - Keyboards
Jan Runkel - Bass
Martin Klüners - Drums

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