Elixir is a New Wave of British Heavy Metal band (NWOBHM) that formed in the early 80s, released two albums by 1990 and promptly broke up. They re-formed in the early 2000s, long after the popularity of NWOBHM was over. They continue the sounds and the trends of this (awesome) era, not caring that the music is passe, in the minds of the populous. Instead they jam to entertain those who miss this forlorn eon of metal history. I hear mixed reviews of whether or not they accurately pull it off, but with a genre that has its hey-day so long ago, it's hard to determine if it's the actual music, or if it's a general misunderstanding of the genre as a whole. It's one of those areas, and bands, that needs to be heard first hand to make that distinction. This is my challenge, it is my burden.
I have to open with the fact that All Hallows Eve is the only album by Elixir that I have heard, so my thought process might be a bit bias to this latest release; but I have to say that this album would be only a so-so album if it had been released curing the height of NWOBHM popularity. While you can hear the tell-tale sounds of NWOBHM, the dueling guitars, the story book lyrics and the semi-operatic vocal style, the ending product sounds flat and forced. In fact the only songs worth mentioning are the last two, which I'm pretty sure is not where you want your best songs. The second to last track, "You're Not Fooling Me," while not anything amazing, stands out from the rest as this is the only song to actually push against the NWOBHM tag. The final song, "Samhain" is good in the way it is much different then the rest. It treads the line, moving into a semi-doom metal style of song. It is by far the longest track, clocking in at a little over fourteen minutes, and it uses that time to build to a point, to let the song evolve, instead of sticking to the five-minute mark like the rest of the songs. The rest of the tracks (the first five) are forgettable and repetitive; nothing worth mentioning.
As I said, I haven't heard any other music by Elixir, and after this release I am in no rush to hear anything else. Skip the album to the last song (or only buy that track) and hear the good off of All Hallows Eve. If you are a die hard fan of New Wave of British Heavy Metal, then by all means check them out; but for the layman like me, skip them and sleep soundly at not having missed a thing. I did have to laugh at their website, which labels them as '...The Ultimate NWOBHM Legend" - I don't know a single person who has ever heard of this band, and seeing as they (pretty much) came after the NWOBHM era had long ended, I can't really see them as having a really huge underground following. ...But then again, what do I know? Maybe they are huge in Europe and Great Britain (where they are from) and I'm just missing the big picture. I don't really know, but I'm not really interested.