Elyria – Reflection and Refraction (Review)

ElyriaElyria are a symphonic metal band from Germany. This is their début album.

With a Classically-trained female vocalist in the ranks, you already know that her singing is going to be first-rate. With her Classical training it’s clear from the off that she really knows what she’s doing. How well this works for you depends on your take on the style and how you feel about these kinds of vocals.

There are some really nice vocal melodies strewn about these tracks, reminding me sometimes of older Kamelot in their delivery, and her voice is very enjoyable.

The music is largely of the Gothic/symphonic variety, but interestingly Elyria spice it up a bit more than a lot of similar bands by including some progressive influences into their repertoire.

The music has some echoes of older Nightwish in it, which serves as a decent starting point for understanding their sound. Elyria are a bit less power metal and epic though, as well as including some of the aforementioned progressive rock elements into their sound too. I also like how they’re not afraid to up the speed levels here and there, something which is missing a lot of the time in this style of music.

Reflection and Refraction has quite a rough recording in places. It’s not a huge issue though, especially as not every band can afford huge, lavish productions. Although, with this type of music, I’d ideally like a little more polish here and there, and a slightly thicker guitar tone, (but that’s just me; there’s always a heavier, thicker guitar tone as far as I’m concerned).

The songs are enjoyable and competently written, although at 62 minutes in length the album is slightly over-long. I feel that cutting back on a few tracks would have given the album more impact, but Elyria clearly have a lot to express and Reflection and Refraction is how they’ve chosen to do this.

The keyboard/symphonic elements are well-written and add a lot to the music without being overly blatant. These are well-composed and quite enjoyable.

An ambitious first release that should please fans of the style, especially as it has a few different elements incorporated into its makeup.

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