Elysium is some nice heavy metal, with cool stories about monsters of all kinds. You will meet demons, witches, and all the horrors and torments of the human mind. And there’s some pretty good riffs and choruses to go with it.
From beginning to end, it’s obvious that melodies and catchiness are important to the band. Even on the darkest songs like DID or Wicked Man, there are some very pleasant and instantly memorable melodies. Vocalist Erica Missey is very good at carrying a catchy tune and expressing an emotion.
Her drumming is also quite good, as shown in the intro track Macaria. The riffs are another highlight of the album, from the catchiness of DID and the ballad When I’m Alone to the more complex introduction to Wicked Man and the almost thrash-inspired riffs of Rorschach and its wild solo.
And of course, how could I forget the amazing self-titled song, Hellgrimm? This one has it all: great, unbelievably catchy heavy metal riffs, the best vocal performance from Erica, and lyrics that make a perfect introduction to the title character. This is the real highlight of the album.
I also like how the lyrics are about all sorts of characters and emotions. Hellgrimm is about a sort of demon, Wicked Man is about a completely human villain, and When I’m Alone and DID are more melancholic and introspective. Another interesting element is that a lot of the villains described in the song are not doing evil for evil’s sake, but rather seeking revenge for their suffering that they blame the whole world for. This is particularly apparent in the outro, Voodoo Queen, where a robotic voice repeats “One day, I’m gonna die and take the world down with me”, over Erica’s plaintive wailing. How did Hellgrimm know this was exactly the type of villains I was interested in at the moment?
Something other stuff I need to mention: I like how a lot of songs include nods to other heavy metal classics, like how Hellgrimm almost sounds like a faster Black Sabbath song, and When I’m Alone and Wicked Man have a slight Iron Maiden influence.
Obviously, that means that the album isn’t always the most original. Also, I’m sad to say that Hellgrimm doesn’t quite have Iron Maiden’s ambition or skill yet, especially since Wicked Man doesn’t really sound, well, wicked enough…
But those are just minor complaints. I think this album should be taken as a fun tribute to cool songs and characters, and as such, it’s pretty well-made and entertaining. If you can accept something not really original, and not too heavy, but still pretty good, this is for you.
Release date: February 18th, 2020
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