This is Norwegian black metal. Elite is a new band, formed in 2001, playing an old style. There are many bands playing nostalgic black metal and a few that play it extremely well. From the opening cymbals to the closing laughter, truly a delightful surprise. Yes I find true black metal delightful. The misery of others makes me happy, no apologies. The production sounds great, not polished at all but as clear as necessary to discern the instruments. The emphasis is on mood, and rhythmic, hypnotic guitars with a fair level of distortion carry you through a sea of turmoil. The lead guitar lines are simple and memorable and the drumming is not overwhelming. Elite shines in the slower passages, which are usually not overpowered by the harshness of the vocals. Nothing pretty, nothing harmonious, very memorable, highly recommended. Six songs ranging from six and a half minutes to thirteen and a half minutes and only once does a song drag on just a little too long. (about three minutes into track six)

Well crafted, well played, and a nice booklet layout as well. The illustrations are quite nice, no credit given as to source, though. Each page has a rune with a brief description of it in English. We learn, for example, that the Elhaz is often found carved into spears for protection in battle. All lyrics are in Norwegian so I don’t understand most of it, but the words are clearly discernible by black metal standards. Elite is a five member entity, no names offered, and this is their debut full length recording. According to Paragon, Judas Iscariot + Maniac Butcher + Darkstorm with older Nargaroth thrown in. Again I’ll mention the vocals, harsh and painful yet clearly enunciated, which is difficult to pull off. The intro to track three, “Brent av Lyset,” is very familiar sounding but I have not been able to place it, slow and methodical for fifty seconds them it screams into high speed drumming. My favorite songs are “Berserkerens Manifest” and “Trollkvinnens Sang” with an honorable mention to “Tusen Ar I Lyset Vold.” This is definitely one of Norway’s up and coming bands. And they sport one of the cooler logos to debut in recent years.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Grimulfr
February 6th, 2004


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