Elfonía - Elfonía

Year of Release: 2003
Label: independent
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 45:12:00

In the early stages of Arjen Lucassen's new Ayreon project, The Human Equation, he posted a request on his website: "Although Arjen already has an impressive list of guest singers to choose from, he is always interested in talented (new) singers for his projects. So if you are a singer yourself and you like Ayreon send any recording of your voice snail mail only to Arjen." In response to this request, he received over 100 recordings of vocalists and after listening to all of them, he selected one and invited this singer to play a part on The Human Equation. This singer is Marcela Bovio and the album he heard was the self-titled debut-album Elfonia.

Upon hearing the album, I can imagine why Lucassen invited Marcela Bovio for the new Ayreon: her vocals are so beautiful and clear. Her voice is not very high, but more mid-ranged, which makes it incredibly nice to listen to her, even though you have no idea what she is singing about (my Spanish isn't exactly good). However, Bovio does not sing everything on the album. On "Drama" a man sings; unfortunately both the booklet and the website could not give me the name of this singer, but he, too, has a good voice in this soft ballad accompanied by acoustic guitar played by Allejandro Millán, who also plays keyboards on the album. Roberto Quintanilla (guitar, baby sitar) completes the line-up of Elfonia, but on the album they were supported by Pablo Gonzáles (bass, baby sitar) and Javier Garagarza (drums).

Vocally it is a stunning album, but also musically, Elfonia shows many faces. I don't know if the music can be called "progressive rock," but I do hear progressive elements in it. But also some folk and pop elements, resulting in a varied, pleasant sounding album. "Hatsheput" is an instrumental track, featuring Marcela Bovio on violin and together with the keyboard parts in this song, it gets a "progressive" feeling over it. The guitar parts are sometimes subtle, like in "Nuestro Descranso," sometimes with some more crunch, as in "Hatsheput" and "De Todas Misheridas," but never even close to metal.

The production is done by Alejandro Millán and Marcela Bovio, and gives the album the sound it deserves. It is a bit short, but the repeat button on your CD player might solve this, as it definitely is not a punishment to have to listen more than once to this fantastic album. Despite the vocals being in Spanish, it is great to hear Marcela Bovio sing, yet maybe for their next album English might be a good choice, as they can reach a wider audience. I think the participation of Bovio on The Human Equation will do Elfonia a lot of good, as now they get attention from the vast number of Ayreon fans world-wide. You can purchase this album from their website and it is very cheap, so I say: buy this album! It will be a nice addition to your collection and it is just a fantastic album!

[This review originally appeared June 2004 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]

Eldalindalë (4:46) / Nuestro Descranso (4:04) / Aura (4:06) / Drama (3:42) / Dentro (4:14) / Modos Humanos (4:22) / Hatshepsut (4:53) / Añoranza (4:05) / La Vida Que Emana (0:59) / De Todas Mis Heridas (4:00) / Alma Infinita (6:01)

Marcela Bovio - vocals, violins
Alejandro Millán - keyboards, acoustic guitars
Roberto Quintanilla - electric guitars, baby sitar
Pablo González - bass guitar
Javier Garagarza - drums

Elfonía (2003)
This Sonic Landscape (2005)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin MX

Added: December 6th 2004
Reviewer: Marcel Haster
Artist website: www.elfonia.com
Hits: 913
Language: english


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