Review: Elysian Gates – Crossroads
Written by Rainer Kerber
With the epic intro ‘The Awakening’ the listener is carried into the sound world of the Luxembourger before keyboards and guitars with the title track ‘Crossroads’ bang forcefully from the boxes. The singing of Noémie Leer sounds very pleasant, warm and mostly placed within the middle pitches. The melody is catchy and the filigree guitar solo skilfully integrated.
In ‘Far from Home’ pop guitar riffs roar powerfully out of the speakers. Epic choruses and strings provide plenty of bombast. The song really takes off in the middle and with vicious growls the singer shows that her roots lie in thrash metal. With 9:49 minutes of playing time (the longest of the album), this one impresses with harmonious melody and tempo changes. Towards the end you can also hear a quiet brilliant guitar solo. Amazing.
‘Mary Ann’ is a wonderful ballad, which simply inspires to dream. Noemie’s voice sounds almost a little fragile. ‘Mary Ann’ is sublimated by a quiet guitar solo and by string sounds as well. But this is only the calm before the storm, afterwards the band rock straight forward again with ‘Broken Inside,’ ‘Human Infection’ and ‘One Open Gate,’ on all of which Noémie Leer growls her heart out.
The hymn-like bouncer ‘Northern Winds’ sets a worthy finale. Being a bit softer, the singing is mellifluous, loosely sprinkled with riffs and discreetly backed by e-piano.
With Crossroads Elysian Gates have managed to deliver a convincing second creation. The music shines throughout with enormous enthusiasm and prowess; the melodies are catchy and very melodic; and Singer Noémie Leer enhances the individual songs with her clear voice, which mainly resounds within the middle pitches. However, every now and then she throws in her harsh growls. Best of all, the two guitarists take turns with the excellent guitar solos giving each song a great depth. This is Symphonic Metal at a high level. 8/10
Elysian Gates – Human Infection (Lyric Video): https://youtu.be/IVhjHhV1mc0
Noémie Leer – Vocals
Thierry Sadler – Keyboards
Sue Scarano – Guitars
Guy Christen – Guitars
Kim Sosson – Bass
Christian Praus – Drums
Label: Self distribution
Out: September 6th, 2016
Far from Home
One Open Gate