Elysion - Someplace Better

Elysion Someplace Better cover
Someplace Better
Massacre Records
Elysion, the “surprise” band from Greece, that sort of came out with a debut that seemed to defy any logic and had a very international “goth rock” style, return with their sophomore attempt, this time with a more refined and eclectic sound, fine-tuned and further modernized, with even more electro influences, but still maintaining reasonable rock credentials. Normally, I’d sort of hate this sort of band... unless they’d manage to do only “singles” but against all odds, Elysion seem to best their debut release as well as their primary influences, being Evanescence and Lacuna Coil, I suppose, making every single song on “Someplace Better” a potential “single”.
From the very start, with “Made of Lies” a song that the band previewed in their live performances in the past year to great acclaim, which features lots of ethnic elements, like lamenting chants set against a heavy riff all, interrupted by the uber cool chorus with Christiana’s sometimes cool and sometimes overtly passionate vocals, things are looking very peachy!
Ah, Christiana, she just causes awe, in the way in which she has matured in world class singer and quite decent frontwoman with only one actual album release under her belt/corset!
The next song, happens to be the title track “Someplace Better” which the band also aired in recent performances to great feedback. Again, the band manages to produce perfect pop-metal... I know that some may cringe at the mention of those words, coupled, but well, if this band can convince a hardcore, “oldschooler” and “puritan” such as me, then I dunno, why anyone should not be converted?! The hooks their songs have, could sustain a car from a ceiling for all I know! Johnny Zero (guitars) and them boys Nid (guitars), FxF (bass) and Laitsman (drums) create the perfect backdrop and Christiana just unleashes some of the best female vocals that have been registered on a band by a Greek band ever… but who’s calling this band Greek… trust me... if this band gets on a big tour now, they’ll never have to look back again!
For all I know “Fairytale” could easily be (have been) on the soundtrack of your next blockbuster movie. It’s a great pop gothic ditto, with amazing start/stop, dynamics and a peach of a chorus, that Evanescence/Ben Moody etc., would kill to have written.
The Promise” is a mega ballad with real cello, that starts slowly before, Christianna totally takes it upon her, to send chills down our spines post 1:11... It’s one of the best songs on the album. Also Johnny’s solo (@ 2:09) might not be very complex but it’s absolutely amazing and it’s “to the point”. It doesn’t take a thousand notes to play articulately and to channel emotion and there is tons of emotion in that solo. Perfection.
Our Fate” is a colder, pop goth number about “separation” with a very tasty verse and an irresistible chorus. Once more Christiana almost monopolizes interest… but hey... who’s gonna complain!?
Awake” is different and has a much more nocturnal style, basing itself on very short, repetitive riffs and notes that make it sound as if it’s layered with tons of keyboards. There’s a nice lead close to the third minute... overall it’s a more “even” song without a “bursting” chorus, that antagonizes the verses, instead the verses here bridge into the chorus which is more or less a different special “verse”. What’s very cool about “Someplace Better” (the album) is that there’s great variety and never a dull moment!
I dunno if “What Lies Beneath” was inspired by the movie of the same name or not, which if I remember was pretty atrocious, but the song in question is pretty delicious… heavy riffs, an evocative Christiana that manages to sound ever slightly “different” on every song giving a quite tortured and more vulnerable performance on this song... another winner… (you don’t want to know what the auto correct suggested to a misspell! Do you people at MS have a sausage fetish by any chance – wiener! :P)
Transparent” is the second ballad of the album, also orchestrated with real cello and it a very beautiful, placid peace, with a very soft delivery by Christiana, who sings heart achingly beautifully against the cello and acoustic guitar... there’s something very “pure” and “beautiful” about this song...
However “Break Free” just begins with a distorted riff, and Christiana, sounding like some demented “Medea”. Another “power pop” masterpiece… with perfect melodies… just “surrender to the heartbeat” and “Drift Away” with Elysion...
In Despair” also is a modern riffy track in the same style, that slightly borrows from the debut album, and is strong in electro-gothic influences... again, the chorus is nearly perfect...
Finally... “Changing” is a great closer, a rather unorthodox, rhythmical song with multiple mini climaxes over a chorus that stops on the brink of eruption... interesting take at the very least...
All I can say is just wow! Seek out the band. You’ll love them. You’ll love Christianna, not only because she’s drop dead gorgeous, (which she is) but because he voice has the same effect that the sirens song seemed to have on sailors – it tantalizes... it makes you instantly fall in love with it, hopefully not to your doom, just to the point where you buy the album... or there might not be people to go see the band perform live! And Johnny, must have some devilish pact, written up to be writing all this cool ass songs, he seems to be pulling only aces out of his sleeves... and I can’t even remember if he’s wearing sleeves.
Beside the funny jokes… well Elysion are one of the bands that I’ve seen or heard in a long time and “Someplace Better” one of the best albums that you’ll hear in 2014. These guys and gal are destined for greatness!
If you like pop, rock, metal or gothic mixed and cool female vocals… this is your new fix. Surrender...
P.S.: “Someplace Better” was produced by Mark Adrian at ARTemis Studios in Athens, Greece, mixed by Dan Certa and mastered by David Collins (Black Sabbath, Alice Cooper, Motley Crue etc.). Gustavo Sazes, who has worked with bands like Arch Enemy and Morbid Angel, is responsible for the cover artwork…