Elvenking – ‘Reader Of The Runes – Rapture’ (2023)
Release: 28 April 2023
Label: AFM Records
Elvenking is an Italian band that, since its inception in 1997, has walked the road to its musical identity with courage and bravado, before reaching the audience with “The Pagan Manifesto”.
With this chapter, the Italian band presents the second part of the trilogy “Reader of the Runes”. “Rapture” was written between 2020 and 2022, and was recorded between May and October 2022 by the band and renowned producer Scott Atkins (Cradle of Filth, Behemoth), who also did the mixing and mastering. This chapter is musically darker, with more musical nuances than the previous one. This is perceived already from the first track, the title track “Rapture”, in which you can clearly hear the influence of various genres, such as black metal (great drummer work throughout the album, but especially in the first song). This track is also a sort of preview to the genres touched by the various subsequent songs, as a kind of mix of genres.
Continuing with listening to the album, this mix of genres is perceived more. In fact, you can see songs sung partly in growl that combines well with the parts of clean vocals. The second track, “The Hanging Tree”, is appreciable because it encourages headbang with its fast rhythms, worthy of the best Ensiferum. Other songs worthy of particular note are “Herdchant”, which has with it a sort of “mystical halo” from the beginning, then explode with the usual heavy guitars, and “Incantations”, which is a beautiful mix between a ballad and a much more aggressive song, which makes it one of the album’s gems.
It can be said that this album is musically and lyrically better than the previous one, which bodes well for the third and final chapter of the trilogy. That’s perhaps their best work.
- The Hanging Tree
- Bride of Night
- The Cursed Cavalier
- To the North
- Red Mist
- An Autumn Reverie
- The Repentant
Album artwork by Zsofia Dankova
Single artwork by Dan Goldsworthy
Photos by Cunene Photography