Elfika – Secretum Secretorum Album Review

Elfika – Secretum Secretorum

Album Review By Rainer Kerber

There are many symphonic metal bands. Here is a new name – Elfika. Although so new, the band is not. The band was founded in 2012 by “Manu BasseKiller”. Well, one can certainly argue about the artist names that some musicians give themselves. However, on the basis of an older project, he wanted to launch a band whose music should combine many influences from symphonic and melodic metal. Power Prog, classic and film soundtracks were added. Sounds interesting, but it’s not new either. When singer Laure Ali-Khodja joined the band, the bass player was able to complete the songwriting. A first demo was then produced in 2015. The first tour through France followed. I was able to experience the band live at the Female Metal Fest in Geneva at the end of November. At this festival, Elfika also presented their debut album “Secretum Secretorum” for the first time.

Piano sounds, later a large orchestra. A lot of bombast. Elfika are already Show off on the intro “The Chamber Of Secrets”. But without sounding cheesy. And after a minute and a half it’s over and the first song “So Human” follows seamlessly. Yes, and here the French really rock on. Memories of early Nightwish come up. The whole bombast does not get out of hand but is used for the purpose of song. Of course, the focus is on the singer from the Belgian capital Brussels. She masters the high notes as surely as the middle range. All this is accompanied by epic choruses. Sophisticated guitar solos are interspersed again and again. This continues with “Angel”. In contrast to the hard guitar sounds, you can hear an almost pop-like chorus that invites you to sing along. There are calm sounds at “The Other”. The fragile voice of Laure Ali-Khodja is accompanied by the electric piano and subtle strings. The result is a great power ballad that, despite a season of almost eight and a half, never seems boring. This is ensured by some melody but also tempo changes. In contrast, “Broken Wings” is much harder and also faster. Enriched with some industrial bonds. But like the other songs very melodic. There are again contemplative moments. The absolute highlight of the album, however, is the monumental work “Dark Virgin”. The song begins with the prayer “Ave Maria”. Here the singer shows that she has a golden voice. But then the French rock out again. Sometimes hymn with epic choruses, sometimes rock with bitter growls. And then again balladesque. This is the finest Melodic Progressive Metal. Elfika produced a video for the final song “Inferno” in 2016. However, the album version is more than a minute shorter and now sounds much more powerful than four years ago.

With “Secretum Secretorum” Elfika have released an all-round successful debut album. You can hear a balanced mixture of bombast, symphonic and metallic heavyess. The French can convince with their sophisticated songwriting. And, of course, the French also score with their singer’s expressive and variable voice. For me, Elfika is one of the best newcomers of the year.

Elfika “Secretum Secretorum” official teaser: https://youtu.be/GHViJIEsEoI

Lineup:

Laure Ali-Khodja – Vocals
Anthony Parker – Lead and Rhythm Guitars
Manu BasseKiller – Bass
D.L – Keyboard
Axel Thomas – Drums

Label: Valkyrie Rising

Out: 17. January 17th, 2020 (Digital), 28. February 28th, 2020 (CD)

Playing time: 48:55

Track list:

  • The Chamber Of Secrets
  • So Human
  • Angel
  • The Other
  • Broken Wings
  • Dark Virgin
  • Inferno

Rating : 8.5/10

MHF Magazine/Rainer Kerber

 

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