It are often the smaller, lesser known bands, who deliver surprises with their new albums resp. EPs. So I’ve got a reviewer’s request for the EP “Daphne” from Ruins of Elysium a few days ago-. Ruins of Elysium? The band dedicated itself to the symphonic metal. Around the Norwegian tenor Drake Chrisdensen excellent musicians from Brazil, Italy and the Netherlands have found together. Since a few days you can listen and buy the EP “Daphne” on Bandcamp. Including a bonus track you get 45 minutes of symphonic music and heavy metal.
The EP starts with the more than ten-minute title epic. First, acoustic guitars to which later orchestral arrangements and choruses join in. And then you can hear the voice of the classically trained operatic tenor Drake Chrisdensen. Later, the melodies are backed by driving double-bass and the guitars pop out of the speakers. Despite or straight because of the length the song is created rich in variety. This is followed by the epic “The Greatest Jubilee“. Great choral and orchestral passages. The singer shows impressively that he feels comfortable even in the deeper tones. An interesting touch of colour is available with “No You’re Not”. The vocals don’t follow classical specifications but are rocking with a slight punk/J-rock attitude. “Lavender” is again classic melodic metal with orchestral additions.
The absolute highlight of the EP for me is “Largo Al Factotum”. So I have never heard the aria from “The Barber of Seville“ by Rossini. Vocally damn close to the original but orchestrated in heavy metal style, banging guitars, ahead driving double-bass, fitting orchestral accompaniment. Metal and classic Italian opera are musically not so far apart!
In “Crusader” you can hear Drake Chrisdensen in duet with opera soprano singer Annelise Dias. Two great voices among themselves, in the style of classical operatic duets, but highlighted also by banging electric guitars and driving Double Bass. With the quiet “Epilogue: Meadows of Elysium” ends the EP, an acoustic piano ballad. No vocals, just vocalizations are heard from the piano. For buyers of the EP with Bandcamp there even is a remix of the very first single of 2014 as bonus. With “Prince” it again gets very epic. Driving drums, orchestral and great guitar passages provide a fantastic final.
Daphne has been in heavy rotation on the last few days, as this EP moves both in terms of playing time and musical content the variety of a full-length. The musicians demonstrate impressively how they manage to perfectly fit together opera and heavy metal. That’s addictive symphonic metal.
Release date: 17-05-2016
Reviewer: Rainer Kerber