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Elis - God's Silence, Devil's Temptation

Elis -  CD Review
God's Silence, Devil's Temptation
CD Info
Napalm Records
11 tracks + 1 bonus track - 52:40
Liechtenstein - English and Foreign lyrics

Napalm records, who has brought us the likes of such bands as Tristania, Battlelore, Trail of Tears, Sins of thy Beloved, (I could go on forever) have now brought us the Liechtenstein quintet known simply as ELIS. And get used to the BIG letters, as far as this band is concerned, because I see them knocking all of the others, right off the shelves. Napalm, has been playing this band up for about a year now. And finally we have the debut release "God's Silence, Devil's Temptation" here in mid 2003. Let me just start by saying, Napalm was not wrong about this one. Trust me, (and them) their going to be BIG. They CAN'T MISS. Where the hell is Liechtenstein, anyway!???? No matter, all I know is I have this album, and who gives a s**t where a country is anyway, as long as I have beautiful music such as this to bring to my grave.

Sabine Dunser is the name of this new SENSATION of BnB. Not unlike the other Sabine (Edelsbacher) we are familiar with, in voice. As a matter of fact, very similar. But this Sabine (ELIS) does not sing Power Metal. This is a Beauty and Beast thing of the Gothic Metal variety. Just think how Sabine Edelsbacher of Edenbrige would sound singing BnB, and you've just about got it. Ms. Dunser though, has tons more emotion in her voice. Tons more. I can sit here and compare her voice also to the likes of Sharon van Adel or even Queen Floor Janssen, but that would serve no purpose to my readers. I am as mesmerized by Sabine's vocal talent as I was when I first heard Floor Janssen sing to a BnB duet. Not a been there done that, this band is very special and virtually came out of nowhere, although Napalm Records had been playing them up rather BIG at their website. But from all the writing, they seemed to have hit it good with this one. This is Napalm's answer to bands such as After Forever and Within Temptation. I know she is new, but Sabine Dunser has already conquered my list of top ten female vocalists. She is outstanding! These people are not CLONE’s! This is some highly original and provocative Gothic Metal for a debut album. "God's Silence, Devil's Temptation" is all you need to know about provocative. A good and evil theme. The music and the vocals are all good.

Surrounding Sabine are some very talented musicians. They better be, cause she deserves as much talent around her as can be gotten. Peter Streit and Jurgen Broger supply the twin guitar attack. Not a rarity to begin with, a Gothic Metal twin guitar line-up. We've seen it before with other European bands of this ilk. The trade-off riffs on some of the songs are truly inspirational and the two do not sound like amateurs or newcomers to the metal scene. On Bass and additional vocals is Tom Saxor. His bass playing drives the rhythms of the music and he also adds a pretty well done beast effect to some of the songs. The bulk of the drums are handled by Franky Koller. I say bulk because there are guest drums on a couple of the tracks done by Martin Schmidt of Atrocity. There is no explanation for this, for I think that Franky Koller does a good driving double bass on his own. Now, here's where it becomes a bit foggy. The band does not list a keyboards player, but there are ivories permeating their sound. Piano and synthesizers are very prominent in the mix. There is even some violin type stuff, but I am unsure whether they’re using the instrument itself or some kind of keyboard. Anyway the band would have to explain this to me, as I cannot figure it out. But nonetheless, its sounds good and doesn't take anything away from their overall sound.

The album begins right off the bat with a song that would be a number one hit on any Gothic Metal chart. "For Such A Long Time" is a fantastic opener for the album with Sabine right up front displaying her talent as the lead singer. It has a nice chorus that will ring in your ears long after its over. "Where You Belong" follows in the same fashion, but adds bass player Tom Saxor with a taste of some nicely done beast vocals. And the band does not kill you with the growly stuff. It is in there, but not overbearing. Sabine is the real star here, lest we forget. Third track sees the addition of foreign vocals in German. "Sie Erfasst Mein Herz" gives light to a different side of Sabine and she pulls it off unmistakably well. Why shouldn't she? It's probably more comfortable for her to sing this way. Reminds me a bit of the way Medeah of "Artrosis" who sounds a lot more comfortable singing in her native Polish. But foreign vocals are not my bag, although when the voice is this good, it doesn't matter if she's singing in Martian. "Do You Believe" is the next track and is also an inspirational tune that would also be a good Gothic chart buster. Another foreign lyrics song and then we’re treated to the two songs, which the album was named for. "God's Silence" and "Devil's Temptation" are side by side and both songs feature some well-done growly stuff amid the heavenly vocals of an angel. Fans of this style are not going to be disappointed. And the production level and sound are just perfect. On the 8th track "Come To Me", Sabine does a very nice solo ballad with piano in the background and what sounds to be some violin. Track 12 is a bonus track called "Betrayal" and is a song that keeps me longing for more from this outfit in the future. A very bright future indeed.

Produced by Alexander Krull and recorded at Mastersound Studio, Fellbach in 2002/2003, ELIS' "God' Silence, Devil's Temptation" is a testament to a new wave of Gothic Metal bands that are taking the music world by storm. The album I have is the limited digibook version. The artwork is also highly remarkable. If you don't buy any other album this year, at least you have to give this album a spin. If you are a fan of Within Temptation, After Forever, or newcomer Epica, then this is definitely what you should have in your collection. I don't usually rate a debut album so high, but I just cannot help bestowing kudos on a masterpiece such as this. A well-done slab of good Gothic Metal.