Elvenstorm – The Conjuring Review

Despite what their name might suggest, Elvenstorm aren't a fantasy power metal band at all. In fact, even their lyrics are much darker than fans of the genre would...

Released By: Massacre Records

Release Date: Out Now!!!

Genre: Power Metal

Links: https://www.facebook.com/Elvenstorm/


Line Up:

Laura Lombard F – Vocals

Michael Hellstrom – Guitars

Benoit Lecuona – Bass

Antoine Bussiere – Drums



1. The Conjuring

2. Bloodlust

3. Ritual of Summoning

4. Into the Night

5. Devil Within

6. Chaos from Beyond

7. Stellar Descension

8. Evil’s Dawn

9. Cross of Damnation

10. Dawn of Destruction


One band I’ve always been aware of but never fully been invested in, up to now, is French power metal band Elvenstorm, who I first discovered in 2011 with their debut Of Rage and War. I remember at the time thinking it was a pretty solid album, with a very classic speed metal sound to it, as well as having some rather unique and somewhat unorthodox vocals, but otherwise the release didn’t really stick with me over time, and I never really spent much time with the band’s seconds release Blood Leads to Glory when it released in 2014. With the band largely going under the radar for me over time, I certainly wasn’t aware they had a new album coming any time soon, nor did I expect to have much interest in it when it arrived, but now that their third release The Conjuring is here, I’ve given the band another chance and this time I’ve come away much more impressed than I did before, to the point where it makes me want to revisit their previous albums again to see what I was missing before.

Despite what their name might suggest, Elvenstorm aren’t a fantasy power metal band at all. In fact, even their lyrics are much darker than fans of the genre would expect, with this album in particular having some very dark themes. Musically, though, they’re even further from what fans may expect, as instead of having a modernized, symphonic or folk influenced sound, they play a very classic speed metal influenced brand of the genre, coming much closer to the likes of Grave Digger and early Running Wild than to any modern power metal bands. They have a very direct, hard hitting style with no symphonic elements, no modern elements or no nonsense: They just play classic metal, the way it’s meant to be played, and they do an excellent job of it! For the most part, the songs are very fast paced, with verses building up in intensity while the choruses go full throttle, though there are the occasional slower sections, as well as some excellent galloping riffs and more melodic guitar work at points. Musically, this is an excellent classic power metal album, with some amazing riffs, great solos and the instrumental sections are definitely the highlight of the album. The overall songwriting is consistently strong, though I find the album starts out with a few killers right out of the gate and while the second half is still very good, nothing towards the end of the album can match the highlights of the first half. The production is solid, having a bit of a raw sound, but everything comes through clearly and powerfully, and it manages to sound authentic, while still being a bit more polished than most albums from the period the band is clearly emulating.

One potential turn off for some folks could be the vocals of Laura Lombard F, who has a very unique approach to her vocals that certainly takes some time to get used to. She has a very raw and aggressive approach, sounding somewhat like a mix between Dora Pesch and Marta Gabriel, except somehow managing to sound even more wild than either of them at points. Her lower register is very powerful and generally quite effective, and thankfully she tends to use it the most throughout the album. On the other hand, her higher register can be a bit irritating at times, and she tends to go a bit over the top and sometimes leans towards shrieking and screaming, which comes off as a bit unpleasant, especially when she does it during some of the more melodic choruses, which contrasts badly with the music. Most tracks have some backing vocals and these are well done and help add some melody into the choruses, which takes a bit of the sting away from some of the more irritating vocal moments, so that’s a good thing. Overall, I’d say Laura does a good job and she’s definitely very fiery energetic, but sometimes she gets a little too carried away and that can be rather unpleasant to listen to.

While the vocals are a bit inconsistent, the songwriting is luckily very good throughout, with no less than great tracks, though as I mentioned earlier, my favorite tracks happen to come towards the beginning. After a brief voiceover filled intro, the album gets off to an incredible start with “Bloodlust”, which begins with some classic heavy metal flavored melodic guitar leads before speeding up after a while and going full throttle with some pummeling riffs during an opening verses that showcases Laura’s strong lower register. The chorus is very fun and energetic, even if a bit basic, as Laura provides powerful vocals on top of some epic gang vocals, which are used very effectively. As with many tracks on the album, the instrumental section is the highlight and again brings a very classic metal sound to the table, in the best way possible. Next is “Ritual of Summoning”, a slightly more restrained track by this album’s standards, though it’s still pretty intense. The verses are as close to mid paced as any of the vocal tracks get, and the guitars have a nice rhythm to them, while Laura sounds very intense and powerful during the verses, but unfortunately she gets a bit carried away with higher notes during the chorus, which sinks the track just a bit. The faster paced section before he chorus and instrumental section in the second half are the highlights of the track. My favorite track on the album is the very heavily Running Wild influenced “Into the Night”, which gives listeners a full throttle speed metal assault from start to finish. The guitar work sounds almost uncannily similar to the aforementioned band in their early days, especially during the instrumental section, and even the chorus is more epic and melodic than normal, and while Laura’s vocals are a bit irritating again, the backing vocals more than make up for that and help make the song a classic.

After such a strong start, the rest of the album unsurprisingly takes a bit of a downturn, though the remaining tracks are all still very good. Next is “Devil Within”, a longer track which has a soft and very dark extended instrumental section, which leads in nicely to another fast and furious track, with some of the most intense verses on the album, while the chorus is also quite good, and one of the rare times where Laura’s higher vocals don’t bother me in the slightest. After that is “Chaos from Beyond”, one of the shorter and more direct tracks on the album, which has a slightly more melodic sound than usual, though it still has some hard hitting riffs and still very fast paced and fun, with a very catchy chorus, only slowing down during a nice instrumental section in the middle. Speaking of instrumental sections, the one curve ball on the album comes in the form of “Stellar Descension”, a full length instrumental track which is very slow paced throughout, as well as being very atmospheric. The track has a slight doom metal feel to it, and is certainly very dark and ambient, in a nice way. It’s very well done, and serves as a nice change of pace.

The final run of tracks kicks off with “Evil’s Dawn”, another track with classic heavy metal flavoring, while being very fast paced and hard hitting, as usual. The chorus is a bit more restrained than normal and Laura sounds a bit less intense, but still quite good. It’s a fun and simple track, which gives way to the longest and most complex song on the album in “Cross of Damnation”. This one starts off slowly, with some nice acoustic guitar work, before settling into a nice groove with some more melodic guitar work, before finally speeding up and becoming the kind of super speedy, aggressive power metal track found throughout the album, except with several twists and turns throughout, as well as a great chorus and some of the best and longest instrumental sections on the album. It’s definitely the strongest track on the second half, and is quite excellent overall. After such an epic track, it makes sense that the album would end with a more straight-forward, all out aggressive track, and that’s exactly what “Dawn of Destruction” is. The Running Wild influence is again strong throughout this track, and the chorus is very fun and melodic, while the instrumental work is great always and even Laura is consistently great throughout.

Overall The Conjuring is excellent, speedy and very hard hitting album from Elvenstorm, which continues with their classic power metal sound and takes it to the next level. Fans of classic metal are sure to love this album for its raw intensity and pure metal sound, while fans of the genre looking for a heavier, more guitar driven album with some fittingly intense vocals are also highly recommended to give this album a go. The vocals take some time to get used to, but are pretty good overall, and everything else about the album is top notch and very easily recommendable.


Written by: Travis Green

Rating: 8/10

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