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ELFFOR
ELFFOR
Unblessed Woods
(self-financed)
55:15min

Fourth album for this one-man band who started in '98 with "Into The Dark Forest", and which I hadn't had the pleasure to listen to until today. From the hands of its creator I received this new recording, and I was pretty surprised with the quality of each song included here. I had always heard that they sounded like Austrian Tolkien freaks SUMMONING which is not false, but I think (in this case) that, although having a clear influence from them, there is a lot more in the music of ELFFOR. Stylistically speaking, we find a really atmospheric and dark Black Metal here, ambient perhaps, but with a huge variety of tempos, from the slowest ones and most doomy to more dynamic and fast ones, with a big predominance of keyboards (some songs are totally based on them), but not as much as on their previous recordings, as I've heard, as there are some guitars and really fast drums (in fact, they give the most part of the speed to the album), and a lot of variety with percussions, that give a medieval and epic touch to the whole. On the vocal side, there is some variation too, with "Stronghold", from the already mentioned Austrian band, like vocals and other more agonic, a bit like XASTHUR and these kind of bands, which are true lamentations, just perfect for this kind of band. Lyrically, they seem to speak about Pagan and Antichristian subjects (or that's what I deduce from the cover), although the lyrics are not included here, which would be nice for an album of this kind, to introduce people a bit more into its world. It isn't an easy album, especially for the ones who don't like such atmospheric songs, but with some listens it catches you with the dark ambiences ('Winter, Fullmoon, Sorrow...' is a good example of this) and dark passages, a big delight for the ones who like ethereal Black Metal and search a good album to give atmosphere to their nights. www.elffor.com

Jeroni Sancho

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ELFFOR
ELFFOR
Unblessed Woods
(Northern Silence Productions)
74:21min

And the story ends, due to the fact that Northern Silence Productions finally completes the re-release project of all former ELFFOR publications with "Unblessed Woods". Their fourth album was originally released in 2006 - as usual limited to 500 copies and sold out in a couple of weeks. It's definitely no secret that Eöl is heavily inspired by Protector, Silenius & Co. but on "Unblessed Woods" the ELFFOR mastermind is in the position to extend the band's sound to a much wider scale. Especially the longer compositions / hymns are completely in line with the given terminus 'Medieval Black Metal' and the influences are raging from bands like ANCIENT RITES, very early GODKILLER up to the omnipresent SUMMONING. The overall sound is still heavily supported by all kind of soundtrack samples, keyboard walls and choirs but every song is offering a further different mood. The re-release version is fully re-mastered comes with a completely different cover artwork plus 20 minutes / 2 tracks of bonus material so also from this point of view a more than solid package. "Unblessed Woods" is until now by far the best ELFFOR release - their 2009 release "Frostbitten Pain" is lacking of the really essential material - so you are again invited to join Eöl on his fascinating journey through the land of the lost. For further info please check www.elffor.com, www.northern-silence.de

Matthias Auch

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