ELVARON - Ghost Of A Blood Tie

Elvaron - Ghost Of A Blood Tie

8 songs
63:54 minutes
***** ****


Elvaron from Nancy in France have been founded twenty years ago, although the band was inactive between 2009 and 2014. Ghost Of A Blood Tie is the band’s fifth album. Despite the long break, the line-up has been quite stable. There are still two founding members left, only keyboarder Shuguang Li is a brand new addition.

The band’s mastermind is Matthieu Morand who not only sings and plays guitar, but is also in charge of the songwriting. As in the past, Ghost Of A Blood Tie is a concept album. This time the story has been written specifically for this album by Mélanie Fazi, a renowned writer who has already won several fantasy awards.

After a short piano intro, we are treated with grandiose progressive metal that reminds me of classic rush but which is also open to more modern influences like for instance Symphony X. The generally long tracks strike especially with their incredible playfulness that often contains elements of classical music. The second track Silent Windows surprises with guest musicians on accordion and clarinet, and yet despite this atypical genre instruments, Elvaron still manage to make it all sound very heavy. Even more extreme is A Place To Pay, where the band is relying on structures that recall the technical thrash metal of Mekong Delta. This up-tempo track is utterly complex and couldn’t sound any more progressive. On Run Away In Fright, the main part is thrash metal with brutal vocals, before an unexpected stylistic break gives the centre stage over to the piano. Next up is the short piano ballad Distant Shores before the album concludes with the quarter hour epic The Man Who Wears My Face. This track comes, like the preceding pieces, with a necessary portion of heaviness, but due to its extensive length, there is room for drama, resulting in a nice symphonic metal finish.

Ghost Of A Blood Tie is a surprisingly complex album with such a high musical level that will be hard to surpass in the future. This is exactly what modern progressive metal should sound like. Even though there are influences from established bands to be made out here and there, Elvaron always go a step further to find their own sound. This might very well be a contender for best progressive metal album of the year.

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