I’m totally not familiar with the Metal scene in Uruguay and can’t name one band from there, let alone which genre is the dominating one. I checked Metal-Archives.com for the sake of ease and none rang a bell, except for ELIXIR, who sent me a request some time ago regarding their debut album “Unleash The Magic”, released in January 2012.
ELIXIR was founded in 2009 – and I quote – “with the idea to combine speed, strength and melody in a unique sound.”The band was first known as EXCELSIOR, but due to legal reasons they had to change it to ELIXIR. Live-wise the band has already shared the stage with EPICA and SONATA ARCTICA.
“Unleash The Magic” was digitally releases in January 2012 and contains nine tracks, including an intro, as is custom with symphonic Metal bands. It begins with “Excelsior”, a symphonic intro played by basic sounding keyboards, sounding rather old school as they summon an image of an epic “Dungeons & Dragons” episode. This is similar to e.g. (old) FAIRYLAND, KALEDON, RHAPSODY and so on. “Weapons Of Heart” makes a direct connection. Symphonic leads with the guitars assisting at first, though then providing power, together with the rhythmic section. There’s even a Folky touch in the music. The chorus is very melodic and harmonic, while the solo part (by guitar and keyboards) breaks the song in two. The vocals are clean, but they don’t sound that good in that Brunno Navarro seemed to force himself. Overall this song is in style similar to STRATOVARIUS, SONATA ARCTICA, KALEDON, …
This brings us to the title track, a fast song where everything seems better aligned. The singing is also better, tone-wise. And the solo again splits the song in two. “Until Eternity” is a midtempo rocker with a power ballad-like bridge and epic chorus. The singing is ok, though nothing special. And so the pace increases again in “Facing The End”, where rocking verses contrast with a melodic chorus. There’s an epic middle part with speech, followed by harpsichord and symphonic arrangements. The solos come right after, delivered by the keyboards and guitar, taking turns.
“Souls With No Glory” begins in an atmospheric way, almost like a fairytale and ballad-like. But it doesn’t stay that way, as Metal instrumentation kicks in, delivering a midtempo melodic Metal song. The vocals aren’t always tone-correct (or however you say this), but the music is listenable. “Wasteland” adds more Metal to the tracklist, more power. There’s also more aggression in the vocals, though they remain clean and somewhat forced, not always inline with the music. The chorus has a hymnic feel.
Two more songs, “Sunrise” and “Legacy”. “Sunrise” is another uptempo symphonic Power Metal track with full volume in the chorus, while “Legacy” is a midtempo track with faster drumparts. The singing, however, sounds too weak, needs more power.
In short, it’s always nice to hear from bands you’ve never heard of, let alone anything from their country. ELIXIR plays symphonic/melodic Power Metal by the book, though I like the idea (see above) why they came together. The production on “Unleash The Magic” is rather compressed, which is understandable if the budget is not as high. It does affect the listening experience, to be honest. While the music is the usual stuff, it might be that live is where the band’s magic lies. However, the vocals are the weakest, not always consistent, link here, if I may say so. Fingers crossed for the follow-up, song-wise and soundwise. If you’re looking for symphonic Power Metal, there’s of course better material out there. If you plan on examining the Uruguayan scene, then ELIXIR is as good as any to start with.
- Excelsior (Intro)
- Weapons Of Heart
- Unleash The Magic
- Until Eternity
- Facing The End
- Souls With No Glory
Brunno Navarro – vocals
Matias Artecona – guitar
Marcos Garcia – guitar
Ignacio Fernandez – keyboards
Andres Duarte – bass
Federico Fleitas – drums