ELFFOR — Unblessed Woods (Alternate Version) (review)

ELFFOR — Unblessed Woods (Alternate Version) album cover Album · 2011 · Atmospheric Black Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
2.5/5 ·
Unblessed Woods, Elffor’s fourth full-length dating back to 2006, has now received the usual betterment initiated by Northern Silence Productions and this is apparently wholly rerecorded and remastered version, in addition to the new artwork and a couple of bonus tracks. I’m not familiar with the original edition - or even with Elffor in general - so I have approached the record without any previous experience of this Spanish one-man project.

Warm, semi-clean and reverby production covers these heavily melodic and symphonic songs that span from 4 to 10 minutes (Unblessed Woods is a monster of an album, clocking at 75 minutes with the bonus tracks), songs with heavy doses of latter era Graveland and Summoning thrown therein. The driving forces of the album are different synth sounds - such as choirs - and effects that are very up-front, backed up by stable (and pretty okay) drum programming and tremolo picking. Eöl delivers his screams in the quite traditional black metal way which fits well.

Without doubt, it’s atmosphere that Elffor seeks to create on the album, and definitely succeeds in that, evoking images of battlefields and landscapes in my head. But what comes to the actual compositions, there’s little to discover: none of the tracks really stand out from the mass of this beast, even if the music isn’t bad at all. It all flows nicely from a track to another, being an enjoyable ride in escapism that is occasionally very welcome amidst all the daily hassle.

Unblessed Woods is an album I’ll sometimes go back to, but doesn’t deliver anything out of the ordinary, hence I do consider albums like Oath Bound and Will Stronger Than Death much more successful. A worthwile effort if you’re not looking for proper innovation, but for a decent piece built of familiar elements.
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