With nine studio albums under their belts (the newest one, Secrets Of The Magick Grimoire included), Italian folk power band Elvenking surely are veterans and one of the most original bands of the scene. The band fronted by vocalist Damna was founded in 1997 and signed their first record deal with AFM in 2000. Since then, Elevenking has toured the world, and have established themselves among the leading bands of the European scene. Secrets Of The Magick Grimoire now takes Elvenking’s artistic visions to another level though: no doubt, this is their most epic and elaborate release so far.
This time, the band was joined in the studio by Snowy Shaw (Dream Evil, King Diamond, Memento Mori) who appears as guest vocalist on “At The Court Of The Wild Hunt”, while Angus Norder (singer from Witchery and Nekrokraft) took care of the growls and screams in four songs. Secrets Of The Magick Grimoire was mixed and mastered by Simone Mularoni (DGM).
The Digipak and vinyl editions come with four bonus tracks, which provide the fan a chance to complete his Elvenking collection: “Petalstorm”, “The Open Breach”, and “Jigsaw Puzzle” were previously only available earlier albums’ Japanese editions, while “Skywards” was even completely unreleased so far.
Guitarist Aydan says: “With our last albums, we have gone back to our original sound. Era’ was a first a step towards our “Back to Pagan Roots” idea but with The Pagan Manifesto we closed the circle of our musical journey and we were back to our original idea of the band sound. Elvenking were born with a defined musical and lyrical idea: to mix our musical influences and let coexist melodic metal with traditional music coming from the folklore of our regions, and the more extreme side of metal – from black to death, and adorn this musical canvas with lyrics based on dark fairytales and personal feelings linked to these ideas. The Pagan Manifesto has been the perfect combination of this original idea. Now with Secrets Of The Magick Grimoire, we took this definition of music and poetry and turn into an even sharper definition. Probably even closer to our debut album Heathenreel idea. The new album is more melodic when it comes to melody and much more extreme when we travel that path. It is more folk and more epic. It is majestic in all its arrangements and compositions. It is an opera of dark stories and invocations. The lyrics are about spells, invocations, dark woods and rituals, magic books and sabbaths. And if you plunge into the music and the words you need to be stuck on it, like a charm. Obviously, it is not the one-shot distracted listen type of album. If you are searching for something like this, it is better to go for something else. There a lot of bands nowadays good in this. We stay stuck into the 90s and the way metal was in those years, when you needed to listen carefully to an album and give at least 4-5 spins to all songs (and nowadays it seems something weird to listen to an album from the first to the last songs) to understand it and to follow all the lyrics word by word, story by story.
We feel it like an album son of the 90s when the big bands were alive and kicking when the magic was still there.”
Vocalist Damna adds:
“Secrets Of The Magick Grimoire is definitely a very ambitious work. It has been since the day we’ve decided to sit down and try to write a successor for The Pagan Manifesto, an album that still stands the test of time and that declared once and for all the sound and the spirit of this band. We were a bit afraid of writing new music, of being capable to realize a decent successor still being able to capture the essence of the band once again. It has not been an easy task. But as we started we let the inspiration lead us as usual and the fear suddenly became excitement, and the excitement turned to joy, as we were writing music that embraced our true essence, was even adding something new in terms of atmosphere and mood and most importantly was giving us the chills. After 6-7 months of hard work, first for the pre-production, then for the real recordings, with a big, big sigh of relief, we can finally say that we are super proud of the result. Some of the songs are straight in the face killer hymns in the classic Elvenking style, while on the other hand we have a big part of the album which contains long songs with lots of layers, arrangements and a deeper complexity which I’m sure will be of great pleasure especially for the fans who constantly plead us to go down this road. We just felt it this time…! Anyway don’t be afraid, it’s not going to be an experimental album, or something totally different from the previous! It’s a full Elvenking metal album, and I’m sure it will be a very important (and magickal) step in our history.”