Elvenking - The Pagan Manifesto
AFM Records
Power/Folk Metal
12 songs (64:00)
Release year: 2014
Elvenking, AFM Records
Reviewed by Joel
The Pagan Manifesto, the latest from the Italian Folk/Power Metal band Elvenking starts with the instrumental, The Manifesto. Your basic intro track, that leads into the epic King Of The Elves. This song blends the folk infused influences of earlier albums such asHeathenreel and The Winter Wake. The song is twelve plus minutes of epic Elvenking that fans of grown to love. Melodic, folk inspired musical passages, the always passionate vocals of Damna, and some solid power metal riffing makes up this song. Near the end of the song, the always talented Amanda Sommerville(Avantasia, Trillium) makes a guest appearance. Her vocals as always are passionate,consistent, and she sounds absolutely beautiful. Listen for the long melodic interlude halfway through the song, Elvenking have definitely pulled out all the stops on this song. Elvenlegions, a song I heard first on Soundcloud a few weeks before the release is next. Its a faster pace song, that reminds me of a mix of The Winter Wake, and their last release, the very under appreciated, Era. The folk metal returns in the form of The Druid Ritual Of Oak, with an almost marching feeling during the earlier verses, and the violin/guitar harmonies(one of my favorite parts of the band) heard in between the verses and chorus. The chorus is more straight forward power metal, and it moves in a much different direction than the verses. All in all, its a fun song to listen to. Moonbeam Stone Circle continues the folk metal into the next song, but is different than the song before it. The gang vocals add an epic element to the song, which is very cool, versus being cheesy. The Solitaire is another mid-slower paced song, with layers of keyboards and guitars. An occasional rough vocal thrown in for good measure, which does not detract nor add anything to the song. The song would have fit perfectly on either The Scythe or Red Silent Tides as well. The chorus as usual, is one of the strongest parts of the song. At this point halfway through the disc, Elvenking has created a disc, I believe that will appeal to fans of the their older material as well as the latest.

The acoustic folk of Towards The Shore is next, a type of song that Elvenking has done before. Its a good song, and it breaks up the metal. The metal returns in the folk-inspired marching of The Pagan Revolution. The folk metal, is definitely on overdrive on this song,and if you like this kind of music, you won't be able to get the melody out of your head. Grandier's Funeral Pyre, probably has my favorite intro of any song on the disc, the heavier guitar riff, with violin over it. A combination of stop and go guitar and faster guitar makes up the verses, while the chorus is much more melodic. This is definitely a highlight on the disc. A straight-forward Power Metal song, with violin fills added for good measure. Twilight of Magic, continues the faster guitar playing, with layers of strings over it. Its another fun faster rocker that is good for headbanging. Like Solitaire, the next song Black Roses For The Wicked One, is a very melodic song. Although it does feature a section of faster guitars, like the two songs before it, its amazing how the songs don't sound exactly the same. It's a testament of how Elvenking compose their music, and sticking to their strengths. At just over eight minutes and forty seconds, Witches Gather, slowly builds from chanting choirs, to a plodding guitar riff, that builds upon itself, till almost the minute and forty five second part. This is definitely a song to just listen too, and enjoy. There is several different moving parts, and this song is definitely the second epic on the disc.

It seems part of the world missed their last disc, in Era, but with Elvenlegions I hope the band gains the attention they deserve. Not since I discovered the band around The Winter Wake, have I been so excited about one of their releases. While I liked The Scythe and Red Silent Tides(The Cabal is a great song!), I believe Elvenlegions encompasses, everything that Elvenking is, and will hopefully be as I believe their future is still very bright. Lets hope(At least I hope!) to see the band, find its way to North American shores.
Killing Songs :
King of The Elves, Moonbeam Stone Circle, Grandier's Funeral Pyre, Black Roses For The Wicked one, Witches Gather
Joel quoted 85 / 100
Other albums by Elvenking that we have reviewed:
Elvenking - Reader of the Runes - Divination reviewed by Andy and quoted 80 / 100
Elvenking - Secrets of the Magick Grimoire reviewed by Andy and quoted 81 / 100
Elvenking - Era reviewed by Olivier and quoted 80 / 100
Elvenking - Red Silent Tides reviewed by Khelek and quoted 69 / 100
Elvenking - Two Tragedy Poets (... and a Caravan of Weird Figures) reviewed by Alex and quoted 80 / 100
To see all 10 reviews click here
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