“Griefshire” by Elis

Artist: Elis
Title: “Griefshire”
Label: Napalm Records
Release Date: 1/16/2007
Genre: Gothic Metal
Rating: 4/5

Despite the resounding majesty and power on this CD one cannot help but feel an uncomfortable level of sadness while listening to “Griefshire”; the newest release by the Liechtenstein based band Elis. These feelings come from the tragic news about the bands lead singer Sabine Dunser, who was taken from the music world by a cerebral hemorrhage just shortly after completing her vocal tracks for this album. Instead of halting the recordings process the remaining members decided to complete and release it for it was a body of work that Sabine felt very close to and often referred to as “her baby”. It is now presented posthumously in both her memory and her honor and it’s a decision that I feel the larger Metal world will be very grateful for. The album on the whole is a tasty piece of music with many hooks and wonderful melodies. There is so much potential for greatness on this album and it is a shame that Sabine will not be able to take part in any of it except in sad reverence. The listener will agree especially when they hear the single worthy track of “Show Me The Way”. This is a song that mixes levels of Pop sensibility along with a Melodic Gothic edge and is one of the staple tracks in my opinion. With “Innocent Hearts” the group surely has another winner that one can envision being the highlight of any live performance based on the driving riff and powerful chorus.

There are also quite a few heavy instances on the album such as the opening track – the thundering “Tales From Heaven Or Hell”, as Sabine sings of the two Brothers that the albums storyline is based on. There is a little bit of concept to this recording but at the end of the day it all comes down to some very inspired material which the group can be proud of. The musicians in the band are Pete Streit (guitar), Tom Saxer (bass), Christian Gruber (guitar), and Max Nascher (drums). Musically speaking these guys show some great skills across the disc and this intelligent Metal that they display is brought to a little extra fullness based on the classical arrangements and string elements that are present here as well. If you are a fan of female fronted Metal groups this is one album that you should look into as even the novice to the band and their story can appreciate the work they did here.

Elis has decided to continue as a band and bring the music that Sabine helped bring to life while she was able to. This is a good thing for I think that somewhere above Ms. Dunser smiles down on her former band for not throwing in the towel in the face of such dire adversity and instead had chosen to press on. Let this release serve as a requiem for a talent that shone brightly and was taken far too soon. Hails! Sabine, may you rest in peace and may your music live forever in our hearts.

Track Listing:
1. Tales From Heaven Or Hell
2. Die Stadt
3. Show Me The Way
4. Brothers
5. Seit Dem Anbeginn Der Zeit
6. Remember The Promise
7. Phoenix From The Ashes
8. How Long
9. Innocent Hearts
10. Forgotten Love
11. The Burning
12. A New Decade

Official Website: www.elis.com

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