To call Mystic, the new album from Canadian melodic metallers Elderoth, easy going and very likeable does not do any justice to the technical craft and skilled invention at work within the proposition, but that is exactly what it is, a highly enjoyable encounter very easy to get on with. The bands second full-length is also a collection of thoroughly captivating songs bred with tenacious imagination and as mentioned, technically impressive invention, a release sure to awaken a new and broader wave of attention on the Montreal based band.
Elderoth is the creation of vocalist/lead guitarist Collin McGee, a project formed in 2007 and soon making a mark on the Canadian metal underground. 2012 saw the release of the band’s self-titled debut album, its presence well-received and awash with the potential of greater exploits ahead, now coming to fruition with Mystic. Infusing N. American and European flavours comparable to bands like Devin Townsend Project and Periphery, with the sound and instrumentation of East Asia, the new album is a fascinating and enchanting offering but also not without a raw snarl or two, or indeed an aggressive streak. It offers tracks which seduce and impose simultaneously, though it is predominantly the former which holds ears and ignites the imagination.
Though a full band live, the album seemingly was performed entirely by McGee showing the talent and multi-instrumental skills he possesses. Within opens things up, the brief instrumental instantly revealing its oriental influence and just as swiftly creating a wind of imposing rhythms and tempestuous riffs. With melodic designs also luring ears from within, the piece evolves into the following Black and Blue where keys create an immediate sunrise of melodic seducing, one bolstered by thickly laid rhythms and the resourceful prowess of the guitars. McGee’s vocals are just as warm and inviting, harmonies flowing and caressing ears in a superbly expressive delivery of the song’s hope bred narrative. It is fair to say that the track is a tempest on the senses, but the kindest, warmest one possible and seriously magnetic with the kiss of Japanese seeded beauty.
Next up the initially darker This Shadow By My Side makes an entrance which is bound by spicy grooves and almost portentous in breath and air. It soon dispels that feeling though with inviting vocals and sparkling sonic enterprise. Into its riveting stride, the excellent encounter brings a whisper of bands like Heights and Voyager to its temptation whilst it’s more creatively turbulent moments suggests elements of The Contortionist and KingBathmat. As the album, time is needed to explore all the layers and adventures within the song but effort only ensures it and in turn the release impresses more.
The outstanding My Future has appetite and emotions inflamed again with its virulently contagious character and thrilling endeavour whilst Falling Star has ears and imagination in an eager submission right from its opening weave of Asian elegance. Of course any essence is part of a richer more involved web, and here rugged almost tempestuous scenery gets involved as spiralling key crafted melodies cross imagined continents with its stirring adventure. The song is pure seduction and the moments when “like a falling star” in the chorus is mistaken for saying like a porn star only adds to the fun.
The calmer charm of In A Dream with its Dream Theater like essence simply dances with body and thoughts, its increasingly energetic and strenuous exploits a beguiling proposal. It is straight away matched by the more heavy metal spiced The Ocean, though its classic tones are soon awash with oriental instrumentation and bewitchment too. Though not managing to carry the instinctive spark exciting the senses in previous songs, with its atmospheric drama around McGee’s impressive technical and composing skills, the song only enthrals before the heavy striding presence and almost shanty like infectiousness of Far In The Sea steals attention away from the real world. The album makes the listener feel like a traveller in many ways, this track one of the most theatrically visual adventures.
The album closes with the transfixing instrumental Always Remember, a track kind of summing up all the exploits and elements found within Mystic in one final individual flight. It is an intriguing hug on the senses and suggestive incitement for thoughts bringing a great release to a thrilling end. Mystic is like a giant melodic magnet, ever since its first touch it has gripped our attention on a daily schedule so far. It is not necessarily the very best album heard or likely to be explored this year but as a highly personable and persistently alluring proposition, it is a winning treat.
Mystic is out now @ http://elderothband.bandcamp.com/album/mystic
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