Hey, it’s the Raucous Rocker, and these are some more underground metal bands. Nope, no big introduction this time–let’s just see what the damage is.
So this first band, Eldrig, is labeled by several sites and reviewers as “Epic Orchestral Black Metal.” That’s BS–there is nothing epic or orchestral about this band, or more specifically, their first release, Kali. Talk about false advertising; the only “orchestral” elements I heard in this album were on the short intermission tracks; all they do is play a very quiet bit of music over and over again as well as ambient instruments forced so far into the background that you won’t even notice them (there is also a short orchestral solo in one of the longer tracks, but it is very slowly and uninspired and seems to last only seconds). The band’s other false label is “epic,” which, in metal, is generally used to refer to those choir-like vocals you hear in some songs belonging to symphonic bands. In this album, I heard no vocals whatsoever, let alone “epic” vocals, so I don’t know what they were thinking. Perhaps in some of Eldrig’s later albums they incorporate vocals, but I wouldn’t know because after listening to this first album, there’s no way I would even consider listening to the next two…seriously, it’s that bad.
So first of all, this band (or should I say this guy, it’s another one of those one-man bands) is not technically bad at all; in terms of fast paced, raw-ish black metal, it’s pretty good. All false labeling aside, the problem with this band is that they are just so boring To clarify, let me give you this picture–this release has three long songs and a bunch of instrumentals all named “Shakti.” That’s a pretty bad sign when you can’t even come up with more than four song names! Anyway, the instrumentals are all the same droning orchestral instruments as I mentioned above, while the longer tracks are fuelled completely by black metal, with only one instance of a symphonic interruption. All of these tracks are over ten minutes long and consist of about five or six different riffs being played over and over, switching around occasionally but not doing anything exciting. Now you see what the problem is? The problem is that it takes way too long for the song to get anywhere. If these songs had been shortened to about three minutes and kept all the same elements, it could be a decent album; but nope, it just goes on and on and on. I almost fell asleep during one of the tracks, only to be jolted back to reality by the incessant use of snare drums. Yeah, this guy seems to have a fetish with snare drums, probably because it’s the only drum that’s able to be heard over his screechy guitar riffs. If you like rawer, monotonous black metal, you would probably find them enjoyable, but for me, it’s a pass.
Crimson seems to be one of those adjectives people like to put in their band names–I don’t know why. Anyway, Crimson Wind is a power metal band–I didn’t think I had been giving power metal much of a chance, so I thought I would review one today. And I am glad to say that this band is not bad. It’s not good enough to be up there with the big boys like Rhapsody of Fire and Hammerfall, but it’s an enjoyable listen. The band doesn’t rely too heavily on anything, which is something most power metal bands do wrong, and provides catchy, if somewhat repetitive, power metal.
This band has one full-length release entitled The Wings of Salvation, and as I said, it’s good but not great. No instruments overpower the music like they do in some power metal bands, but none of them really show off either with the exception of (predictably) the keyboards. Well, I guess there are some guitar solos, and although they are nice, they aren’t memorable. That’s the way this band is; it’s just not memorable enough for me. It doesn’t leave a big enough impact. I’m not really a power metal kind of guy, but I enjoy it from time to time. Although I think this band is kind of fun the first time, it’s not a band I would seek out in the future. I would, however, recommend it to power metal fans; it deserves a fighting chance in the genre.