Sjak : Despite of the fact that the German symphonic metal band Elvellon is already in existence from 2010, this ‘Until Dawn’ is only the first full-length album of the band, after having already released two digital singles ‘Oraculum’ and ‘Born From Hope’ in 2013 and 2015 respectively, which was followed by the five-track EP ‘Spellbound’ in 2015. Meanwhile they have found a record label in Reaper Entertainment and they feel it’s about time to introduce themselves to a bigger audience.
Actually Elvellon for the majority originated from the band Ravian, in which guitar player Gilbert Gensdorf, drummer Martin Klüners and bass player Philip Kohout were active and who shared a rehearsal room together from 2010 onwards. Two years later this Ravian threesome joined Elvellon and together with keyboard player Pascal Pannen and female singer Nele Messerschmidt they now form the line-up of this symphonic metal outfit.
The song material that the band is displaying on this ‘Until Dawn’ debut album shows quite a lot of variety, but clearly has its roots in the symphonic metal genre, in which at times a good dose of bombast is added. This variety results in the fact that you’ll have to spend quite a few listens before the material on offer reveals its true beauty to you, although I have to say that from the first listen you’ll notice that you’re dealing with an above average talented band here. The biggest assets of Elvellon, being the already mentioned variety, the bombastic keyboards, the lovely guitar riffs of Gilbert Gelsdorf and the beautiful vocals of Nele Messerschmidt (who sounds as a mixture between Tarja Turunen and Floor Jansen, but still has her own style) are processed perfectly in the twelve songs on offer here, which are good for a playing time of over an hour, and that accounts for the fact that this ‘Until Dawn’ stands out in a positive way and proves to have become a very enjoyable listening experience.
Opening track ‘Spellbound’ starts the album a bit subdued, but as such provides female singer Nele Messerschmidt the right platform to showcase her vocal capabilities and she really grabs that opportunity. The oldie ‘Oraculum’ shows quite some Nightwish-influences and in the remainder of the records this is also shown in a few other tunes. Still that is nowhere truly disturbing and Elvellon really proves to have its own identity. In my opinion that’s best shown in tunes like ‘The Puppeteer’, the very beautifully built-up ‘Fallen Into A Dream’, ‘King Of Thieves’ and title track ‘Until Dawn’, but as a matter of fact the whole record can be categorized as very good.
I was at first quite sceptical about this album as the accompanying promo-leaflet was bragging quite a bit as it was talking about the “debut album of the year”. In most cases things are not as great as they seem then, but that’s definitely not the case with this Elvellon debut album as this is of a very high quality level, without stating that it is indeed the debut album of the year by the way. However, ‘Until Dawn’ has certainly become a very strong first full-length album for this German five-some and shows that this is a band with lots of potential!