Vera : This is something extravagant for a change. Ruins Of Elysium was founded in 2013 and exists of the Italian guitarist/bassist Vincenzo Avallone, the Brazilian drummer Icaro Ravelo who also plays synthesizer (and that will turn into the most important instrument with all those symphonic layers, choirs, violins, samples, etc…) and the Norwegian singer Drake Chrisdensen they praise as an operatic tenor. As fan of Therion we are curious and go for this pact with the devil of 75 minutes length.
Earlier they got rave reviews and success with the EP ‘Daphne’, but this is really a megalomaniac enterprise. As expected, ‘Kama Sutra’ is relished with oriental influences. Violins, vocals, all quite ethnic. Then guitars join in and we hear massive choirs. That will turn into a major ‘vocal partner’ of our tenor. ‘Shadow Of The Colossus’ begins with pure symphonic music, then choirs again, but then we have our first encounter with Drake. It is alright, but not that impressive as expected and soon it gets a bit cheesy and this patchwork of different twists and turns does not sound natural and quite synthetic. I get a feeling of ‘where is the band?’ in the midst of all these arrangements that can only come out of a box (computer?) in a band with two musicians and a singer. Now and then they rock in the next songs, but the guitars are always snowed under by all those symphonic grandeur.
‘Iris’ is a short introvert intermezzo. Then we are prepared for the magnum opus of this debut during ‘The Birth Of A Goddess’. The title track is a forty minutes long opus, divided in five parts. ‘Seeds Of Chaos And Serenity’ is inspired by Sailor Moon and this composition of Ruins Of Elysium is released twenty years after the last volume of the Sailor Moon manga of Kodasnha. The first part has a long intro of harp-alike sounds with choirs before it bursts out. In the second part we hear soaring synthesizers and a woman speaking as an oracle, much violins and harp-alike sounds again. In the third part guitars and drums finally get some space to perform, while the last two parts are pretty symphonic again. We applaud that these guys look for an original approach of symphonic metal, but I am not really convinced. The tenor chants are not as impressive as I hoped they would be and actually they are in the minority. This is a weird record and I think it will get very diverse and contradictory reactions.