[REVIEW] Elderflower - EP
By : Kyla Scrivener
What is fascinating about the death metal genre is that I find it to be one of the most diverse and artistically driven branches within all of the metal genres. You are unable to say that a band is death metal and truly understand what is meant due to the element of creative freedom which can entirely change the sonic identification. Melodic Death Metal can be perceived as quite a dissonant pairing in musical genres; however Elderflower’s new self titled EP has created the most perfect dichotomy of beautiful brutality. Created from the members of Claim the Throne and Suffer In Rot, Elderflower have already received accolades after recently winning the Song of The Year Award in the heavy metal category for West Australian Music (WAM) in 2019. This week I enjoyed the pleasure of listening to Elderflower’s self titled EP which includes their two new tracks Perished Walls Speak and Chasm.
Listening to Perished Walls Speak it is immediately apparent that although the track is weighted at both scales of heavy and gentle, the arrangement is quite balanced and harmonious. Reminiscent of Myrkur, the juxtaposition of death guttural growls and feminine gospel harmonies intertwine throughout the song as if dancing with light and dark or feminine and masculine energies and notes. Haunting chants ritualistically fill chambers while the heaviness and intensity of the grim guitars and drum blasts create an ominous pairing.
Adding layers of strings and piano, Perished Walls Speak becomes this epic symphonic feel that is intense from beginning to end. There are so many layers to unpack audibly yet nothing is lost in the overall sound and direction of the track. A lot can be said about the productions fantastic job at keeping all elements visible within the bigger picture. Melodic romantic keys gracefully envelope the aggression in the guitar, vocals and drums keeping the song eclectically folk-like yet deathly melancholic. This theme is carried throughout the entirety of the song which enhances the gothic duality of light and dark.
Chasm, the second track, introduces strings and heavy guitar to the mix from the beginning making it very poetic, romantic and brutal all at once. Baroque in its overall feel, Chasm is a little more on the folk side of the spectrum, much like Ensiferum but heavier all round. The keys and strings are paired brilliantly with the fast pace, almost as though they gallop through riffs. While the vocals steamroll through, barrelling with warlike prowess. You can imagine castles and towns burning to ruins while churches fill the air of choirs during the death and despair of a tumultuous era.
Synonymously, the more ethereal and darker elements present a foreboding setting of Melancholic journeys through bleak landscapes. Orchestral fullness with black metal drum blasts peaked with guitar solos mid way add to the multi dimensional piece which gives an impressive overall depth. The progression of the song builds up a wall of sound that will fill a stadium or auditorium incredibly. Especially towards the end of the track where the intensity is enhanced with demonic vocals and chaotic harmonies, this inside an auditorium will be intense.
Elderflower’s debut EP is a strong push forward for the Australian Melodic Death metal scene. They have successfully created a sound that I did not personally expect to exist outside of Europe geographically and do this in an incredibly talented manner. There is a great deal of thought behind both pieces and musically they cannot be faulted for being created by some of Australia’s most talented musicians. Elderflower is successfully refreshing in its originality, savage in its approach yet dazzling in its after taste which leaves me excited for their future releases and live shows.