Imagine visiting a picturesque building in a friendly setting of your choice. Once inside, the feeling that nothing is going to happen for an uncomfortable eternity, along with every musical key suddenly locking you into its orchestral and industrial density, will make you want to frantically run around in circles in order to get back to the reality of your conscious life. Sounds scary? Well, this is exactly the kind of scenario which describes the vibe on “The Umbersun”, the new album from Austro-French five-piece Elend. It’s a teasing blend of classical organs, vocal screams and Gregorian chants minus the loud guitars; a one hour-plus retreat into the fullness of diverse symphonic sounds and the emptiness of emotional annihilation. Or, putting it another way, this is the sort of album you may need to listen to with the light on and in the company of as many pairs of clean pants you can get your hands on (or your legs through).
For all of you out there who have long since been looking to recapture that elusive childhood feeling of getting spooked out by a good horror movie, this is your ultimate, non-more-black, haunting mellow-tron through someone else’s vision of insanity. Metal Factor (2), Spooky Factor (10).
Metal Hammer June 1998