Domingo Smets is known by most as a former member of Ancient Rites, now he is back with his new band called Elusion. Ever since 1999 up until 2015 Domingo played in the Belgian melodic Black Metal formation, now with Elusion however he wanted to do something different. He realized that he needed a new kind of vocals to fit the music and thus he recruited Evy Verbruggen who is the former singer of Keltgar. Male vocals just wouldn’t fit as good with this kind of Symphonic Metal. The rest of the line-up consists of Frederik Van Mieghem (drums) and Kristof Degreef (bass) with whom he already played together in the bands Persephone’s Blade and Gracefallen. The music still remains heavy though since Kristof has taken it upon himself to perform the grunts.
The result is the EP called Desert of Enticement, consisting of 3 tracks giving you some epic and bombastic metal in the vein of Epica, After Forever and the likes. Although this is only the first release by Elusion, it’s very high in quality. The fact that these musicians are a part of the Belgian scene ever since the early nineties obviously contributes to the fact that they know perfectly what they are doing.
The first song is called The serpentine Trail and is quite a standard song within this genre. The vocals of Evy are very pronounced and take the main part throughout the song. Several tempo changes are accompanied by a shifting in volume and higher scale pitches. At some points there is some bombastic drum riffs to be heard.
The second song is the title track of the EP. It starts with an Arabic, middle eastern theme styled intro that would be fitting for an Assassins Creed game. This is also the first song in which we hear the vocals by Kristof. It is also quite heavier than the first track and thus more metal oriented than The serpentine Trail. It is also more uptempo which makes the parallels with Epica even more prominent. In the end there is also some oriental percussion accompanying the guitar solos as well as both vocalists.
The third song Facade seems to have a more folk and medieval oriented theme. The opening guitars play some riffs which could just as well be produced with some authentic folk instruments. It also has a very epic feel to it so it seems as if you are in a musical interpretation of a King Arthur-like fairy tale. This is also why it kind of resembles the earlier work of Nightwish.
Overall it can be concluded that this is a very nice first release by the new band Elusion, it would have been more impressive if it would have all been new musicians to the scene but that doesn’t mean that this isn’t worthwhile. Desert of Enticement deserves a solid 8/10, a score which is very impressive for a debut. For those who want to see them live, on the 28th of January they will be the first band ever to play at Asgaard, the new GRIMM venue of which you will be hearing a lot more in the future.
Release date: October 1st, 2016
1. The serpentine Trail
2. Desert of Enticement