Elegy - Manifestation Of Fear

Year of Release: 1998
Label: Noise/T & T Records
Catalog Number: TT 036-2ux
Format: CD
Total Time: 53:03:00

Here's my take on this disk, already ably reviewed by Larry:

From the rapid fire drumming of the opening track, this is an "in your face" album, so very suitable to its dark subject. Somewhat influenced by Queensryche and Iron Maiden, Ian Parry has an expressive voice, though he often contorts its awkwardly - stretching out that note ... twisting it for emphasis. I like his voice, and I can't quite place who I think he sounds like ... and it doesn't matter. Shades of Bruce Dickinson maybe ... a better Bruce. At times, I thought of Saga's Mike Sadler ... whatever, he's got a very good and listenable voice.

This is a concept album, and as such it works fairly well - unlike some concept albums of late, this has a linear story. If I have a quibble, is that there are narrative bits in the booklet that reiterate what's already sung in the lyrics - and the lyrics are clear enough that seems strange. If the lyrics were sung in French or Italian or whatever, and the narrative was added for the English speaking audience, then it would, of course, make sense. But, no, this is sung in English.

I agree with Larry about this being a very clear production ... you don't really notice those things unless it's bad. Here it gives it a very rich and full sound.

Henk van der Laars is another one of those guitarists who not only know how to play but how to play. By which I mean, knows when to throttle back for the sake of the song and when to let loose, again for the sake of the song. Too many guitarists get their solo spot and play the heck out of their instrument, but without any respect for the overall picture.

Often the drums are playing more than just the typical thump, thump, thump that I hear so often ... dynamics, even when another instrument is out front is more appreciated than routine banging. There's as much interest in what Dirk Bruinenberg is playing as with van der Laars or keyboardist Chris Allister.

This plays better when you aren't following the lyrics ... which may sound weird ... but just hearing the music brings it more in focus than reading ahead, anticipating where they're going to go ... waiting for that next line ... often times the way a line is printed on the page has no bearing on the phrasing a singer is using ... I digress.

When I was sketching out this review, I wasn't as thrilled with the album as I am now, putting this in a readable format (I give the disk one more spin while I write this). Perhaps that was because I was first listening so soon after listening to Angra. Very different bands, these two. If Angra is classicism and romantism, Elegy are grit and dirt. Light and dark. The underbelly of society laid bear ... and yeh, I suppose the album cover has some influence on that thought ...

Probably too caustic for neo-prog fans ... this isn't melodic in the same way as Marillion, Arena, Pendragon, et al are ... but then again, as a I'm neo-prog fan and I like this, maybe I'm prejudging. This is relentless in its assualt ... very little space in the arrangments ... as Larry mentioned, always something happening. (I just thought of someone else who Parry sounds like ... Roger Taylor of Queen. Maybe only on "Solitary Day" ... but it's that same kinda husky - cf. "I'm In Love With My Car" on A Night At The Opera).

There is a small bit of irony here - the final line of the final song, "Metamorphosis" is "Silence is golden/silence is real" - this leads into a scorching guitar solo. Silence indeed! But you know, with all the hardness of the previous part of the album, this beautiful solo is, in a way, like silence ... well, you'd have to read the whole concept here for that to make further sense.


Unorthodox Methods (5:16) / Frenzy (4:34) / Angel Without Wings (4:45) / Savage Grace (4:58) / Master of Deception (5:26) / Solitary Day (Living in an Ivory Tower) (4:44) / Manifestation of Fear (5:40) / Victim of Circumstance (5:30) / The Forgotten (3:38) / Redemption (Inst) (2:09) / Metamorphosis (6:23)

Henk Van der Laars - guitars
Martin Helmantel - bass
Dirk Bruineberg - drums
Chris Allister - keyboards
Ian Parry - vocals

Labyrinth Of Dreams (1993)
Supremacy (1994)
Lost (1995)
Primal Instinct (1996)
State Of Mind (1997)
Manifestation Of Fear (1998)
Forbidden Fruit (2000)
Principles Of Pain (2002)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin DE

Added: August 1st 1999
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website: www.ianparry.com
Hits: 1185
Language: english


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