Rawkfist
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Rawkfist

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www.necroweb.de 8,5p/10p

Nach ihrem Erstlingswerk "Stories" setzen Rawkfist ihre Geschichten fort und veröffentlichen "Gardens Of Elysia". Das zehn Tracks umfassende Album bietet dem Hörer symphonischen Metal, der laut Presseinfo mit Elementen der Mittelaltermusik versehen ist. Hört man sich das Werk dann an, findet man davon aber nicht allzu viel. Im Vordergrund stehen harte Gitarrenriffs und der weibliche Gesang von Sabine, die voller Emotionen die Tracks in die Gehörgänge treibt.

So wundert es nicht, dass bereits der Opener "Through The Night" gefühlvoll durch ein sanftes Klavierintro beginnt. Die einsetzenden female Vocals wirken teilweise sehr verletzlich, können dadurch aber nur schwer mit der härteren Instrumentierung mithalten. Ein Drum- und Gitarrensolo stört den Verlauf des Liedes ein wenig. Tempowechsel und melodiebringende Gitarren ergänzen das Stück insgesamt aber zu einem Ohrwurm, dessen Produktion allerdings zu kraftlos ist.
Dies wird auch im folgenden "Whatever They Preach" deutlich. Harte, passende Riffs - besonders gegen Ende des Songs - gehen etwas verloren und hätten mehr Druck gebrauchen können. Nichtsdestotrotz kann auch dieser Song durch symphonischen female-fronted Metal im Refrain und klassische Elemente in den Strophen überzeugen. Eine großartige Melodie bleibt sofort im Ohr hängen.
In "I Call Her Sickness" trübt ebenfalls die Produktion ein wenig die sonstige Qualität des Tracks. Das beginnende Schlagzeug ist zu leise und die Doublebass Attacken bleiben zu sehr im Hintergrund. Von Streichern untermalt und im Refrain schneller werdend laden Rawkfist aber auch hier zum Headbangen ein.
In gleicher Manier und recht ähnlich wie der Vorgänger erklingt "Holy Flame".
Abwechslung bringt dann aber das Titellied "Gardens Of Elysia". Dieses sowie die rifflastigen Tracks "Scared To Breathe", "The Princess And The Frog" und "Back Into Light" mit seinen atmosphärischen Samples (Gewitter, Regen) bringen eingängigen Metal in die heimischen Räume und machen durch melodiebetonte Refrains Spaß.
Das einzige deutsche Lied "Die Propheten" sticht nicht nur durch deutsches Songwriting aus dem Kontext des Albums heraus. Flott und mehrstimmig präsentiert man sich auch auf Deutsch durchaus würdevoll. Mehr davon.
Einen gelungenen Abschluss bildet die Ballade "Keep Hope". Hier ist Sabines Stimme im Vordergrund und wird lediglich durch Streicher und Piano begleitet. Im Vergleich zu den rockigen Nummern zuvor ist dies ein zum Text passend inszeniertes Stück, was den Hörer zur Ruhe kommen lässt.

Insgesamt ist "Gardens Of Elysia" ein wundervolles, emotionsgeladenes Album geworden, was über alle zehn Songs die Spannung zu halten vermag und Melodien in sich birgt, die sich ins Hirn brennen.
Einzig durch eine zu schwache Produktion ist das Album an einer höheren Punktzahl vorbeigeschlittert, denn sieht man davon ab, kommt auch nach mehreren Durchläufen keine Langeweile auf und auch wenn die Strophen etwas belanglos wirken, so profitieren alle Songs von vor Eingängigkeit strotzenden Refrains. Wer Symphonic Metal durch female Vocals getragen mag, der sollte unbedingt mal reinhören. Es lohnt sich.


This album opens with a eerie Kate Bush like piano introduction to the first song until you are hit by a wall of symphonic sound, which knows exactly when to back off and when to rip your throat out in this compelling maiden track 'Through the night'. Harder in tone and more metal than the first track to start with, 'Whatever they preach' has a fantastic nagging insistent background melody behind the perfectly executed vocals of Sabine who manages to sound at once ethereal and powerful. Great drums begin the third track, a fast paced and drivingly melodic song with edges of the medieval lurking in with the hefty bass and frantic drum work. One of my favourite tracks from the whole album! One of the things I like most about this album is the mix which is precise to almost frightening degrees with the vocals right forward so that every lyric is easily heard while still managing not to make them overwhelming or over bearing. This is very noticeable in the fourth track 'Holy flame', a slightly more popular-esque track than the others, despite it's forward and contentious rhythm which never lets you forget that this is a metal band that you are listening to. High electronic orchestral sounds strike up for the title track 'Gardens of Elysia' and you could be forgiven for thinking you are listening to early NIGHTWISH for a moment, except that Sabine's vocals are less operatic but no less compelling. An utterly awesome track! 'Scared to breath' really does sound like Kate Bush has had a very metal moment, but totally in a good way. I like “different” and this certainly is not your run of the mill three chord metal band. You might have gathered by now that I really like this album and indeed this band. They have everything that I require in an album, good strong performances, excellent sound engineering, great musicianship and a nice turn in lyric writing, mostly in English, despite hailing from Schwabach, Germany. The exception to the English lyrics occurs next and it's nice to hear them sing in their mother tongue, although I imagine their choice of singing mainly in English won't do them any harm with international audiences, who can unfortunately be notoriously lazy if people don't sing in English. The track in question is 'Die Propheten' which begins with an almost musical box sound before harsher and more insistent than before vocals come in to carry you along into a melodic but very hard fast paced track. 'The Princess and the Dragon' is next, and for me it's one of those roaring along songs with a great story in the lyrics that's epic and singable, mixing fantasy, discordant and symphonic sounds with clear clean vocals to give a very pleasing effect. Cellos, rain, crying guitars and more great drumming make the next song, 'Back into Light', for me the best on the album as once again the band manage to mix almost innocent vocals with threatening and insistent music to fabulous effect. And all too soon it's the final track, ending as the album started with haunting piano and eerily simple vocals, almost childlike but with a depth of passion and emotion that wring every scrap of meaning from the lyrics. It's quite simply beautiful and underlines the diversity of this band. I liked this album so much I'm checking out their previous works and will certainly be seeing them live when I have the chance. They embody everything that is good in the metal, symphonic, medieval, alternative genres, attempting to emulate no-one yet clearly gaining inspiration from a great many original artists, making that inspiration into something all their own with no hint of plagiarism, just honest and dedicated talent. Brilliant! - Necroweb and Reflectionsofdarkness.com


Discography

2007 Album (Stories)
2009 Album (Gardens of Elysia)
Radio airplay: "Die Propheten" (Gardens of Elysia); "Back into light" (Gardens of Elysia); "Poker" (Stories)
"Whatever they preach" on CD "Gothic Spirits 10"

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Bio

And the stories came true. After the first work, "Stories" from the year 2007 now the second CD of Rawkfist appears and bears the title: "Gardens of Elysia”. The five young musicians - to follow their one main goal, to offer the audience an experience of stage performance, sound and lyrics that will reach many hearts - have themselves fulfilled a dream.
In times when music is evaluated for how well it can be sold, the feeling and the individuality of an artist more often gets in the background. But they were and always will be there… those independent bands, whose drive to write music arises only out of passion.
With just such a motivation Rawkfist stands on many stages in southern Germany. It is not easy to convince people of something that is still unknown. A music must be all right and special to convince. Rawkfist, after two years of band history, has enjoyed a very loyal fan base and looks forward to an active growth after the release of their second album, "Gardens of Elysia”. In this work, the listener gets ten impressive and emotional songs to hear. They all show out in the dramatic sound of symphonic metal.