EnkElination are a female fronted metal band based in London but featuring the vocal talents of classically trained Finnish singer Elina Siirala. As her name might suggest the band's own moniker is a play on her name mixing it with the Finnish word for angel, enkeli.
Looking at them my initial thought was that they might be just another female fronted symphonic metal band but that turns out not to be the case. While they have much in common with some of those bands they describe themselves as having melodic metal and hard rock leanings and what you get is an album with a huge focus on melody.
The guitars do riff away at times and they even throw in some double bass drum beats here and there but it's all subservient to the melodies in the songs, the beautifully melodic vocals and harmonies and the overall atmospherics the band are trying to create here.
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In any female fronted metal band these days it's all important that the singer is up to the task of being the focal point of the songs and I can confirm that straight away, Elina Siirali has a strong, beautiful, melodic voice.
Classically trained she may be but she doesn't resort to the full operatic mode employed by the likes of Tarja Turunen or Xandria's Dianne van Giersbergen and has a technique which shares the poise and strength of an opera soprano and the melodic tone of a more conventional rock singer. I like her voice a lot.
The songwriting is pretty strong here too, each song has the feel of being crafted and thought through. The band seem to understand where they want the songs to go and then embellish them with lovely touches of vocals, keyboards and guitars. They have a great grasp of the dynamics you can bring to this kind of music. I'm not sure that all the chorus sections are quite as memorable as they should be but there isn't a bad song on here, but to be honest not one that really, really stands out either.
If I was to raise any complaints about this album it would be that it maybe lacks some balls. The band have been described elsewhere as Delain meets Nightwish and I can hear where that comparison comes from(although I like them much more than the bland poppy crap that Delain serve up).
The album as a whole for me leans too far to the melodic side and not enough to the metal side. It's very, very pretty and very enjoyable but adding a little edge to the songs here and there could have been very effective in my opinion. Hopefully in a live setting that will be resolved!
Overall this is a pretty impressive full length debut from a band with some well formed ideas and an intention to craft some impressive, atmospheric and melodic metal. I do have some reservations about the name which is a little convoluted and I would question how memorable it is but I'm happy to be proved wrong on that one. I look forward to catching them live somewhere down the line.
1. Tears of Lust
2. Higher Ground
3. Never Ending
6. What Have You Become
11. Last Time Together
28/7/14 London Underworld
29/7/14 York Fibbers
10/8/14 Bloodstock Festival, Catton
Elina - Vocals
Shadow - Guitar
Alasdair - Bass
Ben - Drums