June 5, 2023

We now come to the eagerly awaited second part of the Reader Of The Runes trilogy which sees the bombastic folk/power metal band very much cement its place as one of the premier hard rock, fantasy, folk metal bands out there.

Power metal is a genuinely exciting branch of the music tree and it is a treat to see and hear bands willing to experiment within the genre and Elvenking’s tasteful blending of folk and metal is a true joy to behold. The band was formed in Italy in 1997 by a team of exceptional musicians with a real love of all things metal but very cleverly used their pagan, folk and roots influences to make a unique sound although it does seem that folk metal is an increasingly popular form with so many other bands including the remarkable Skyclad also leading the way.

Rapture is the bands 11th album in a career that has seen some very high-quality releases with the latest continuing the band’s very high standards as they continue the concept theme concerning a mystical world of magic with runes and ancient powers being very much the order of the day. The band has changed a little since Divination came out in 2019 with vocalist Davide ‘Damnagoras’ Moras, guitarist Fedrico ‘Aydan’ Baston, bassist Alessandro ‘Jakob’ Jacobi and violin player Fabio ‘Lethien’ Polo now joined by the returning Simone ‘Symohn’ Morettin for his second stint with the band and touring guitarist Mattia ‘Headmatt’ Carli has now joined on a permanent basis. They replace the outgoing Marco Lanciotti and long-time guitarist Raffaello Indri but Morettin and Carli have both settled comfortably into the fold. The story necessitates that this album is heavier and darker than Divination but the band is most comfortable with head-on metal as they explore the fantastic world they have created and weave their magical tales of great derring-do. The twin guitars of Baston and Carli are very much to the fore as they lay down searing guitar leads over which Moras sings as if his life depends on it and he gives the performance of his career so far as his expressive voice and perfect delivery give an added dimension to the ‘new’ grittier Elvenking sound.

The band makes great use of orchestration to give a true epic feel to the music real and you get the feeling that if Tolkien has imagined a rock band for Middle Earth the Elvenking would have been the first number that he would have called! If you like your power metal to be a little different and multi-faceted then Elvenking are most probably what you are looking for and you will find much to delight here. Reader Of The Runes is shaping up to be an exceptional trilogy from a band that keeps making remarkable steps forward which means that the third part is going to be a truly amazing release to look forward to.

Reader Of The Runes – Rapture

  1. Rapture (6:20)
  2. The Hanging Tree (4:27)
  3. Bride of Night (3:51)
  4. Herdchant (5:17)
  5. The Cursed Cavalier (3:52)
  6. To the North (5:39)
  7. Covenant (4:50)
  8. Red Mist (5:08)
  9. Incantations (5:38)
  10. An Autumn Reverie (4:12)
  11. The Repentant (5:36)