Japanese release of the debut full-length album by cult Dutch Progressive Heavy/Power Metal band.
Elegy is without doubt one of Europe's finest bands mixing equal proportions of Melodic, Power, and Progressive Metal.
"Labyrinth of Dreams" is an album packed with top-notch Progressive Metal tunes, thunderous drums and bass, breathtaking twin guitar solos. This album is chock full of crazy guitar antics, in the form of both insane solos and some nice meaty riffs. The guitars are excellent, provided by the talented Henk Laars and Arno Van Brussel. The riffs are good, fast, and the solos are great and even faster.
There are the ultra-fast speedy songs like "The Grand Change", which they further explored on their sophomore release, "Supremacy"; and "I'm No Fool", noteworthy for its use of Neoclassical guitar parts and high-pitched vocal technique. In addition, the band tried their hands at more Epic compositions on "Take My Love", mixing radio-friendly choruses with heavy-duty riffing and pounding drumming. The title track is a Power ballad building to an intense finale where dual guitars shred wildly while "Over and Out" sees the band veering yet into another musical path, this time combining the aesthetic of Melodic Metal with early Helloween-like vocals. Then, there is also the instrumental stuff, with lots of Shred-intensive guitar passages building into nice unison leads, best heard on "Mass Hysteria".
Vocalist Eduard Hovinga generally sings in a high pitch, recalling Ray Alder on his first Fates Warning album. His voice does falter in places, but he finds his true self on the following releases, particularly "Lost". His Power Metal styled singing has always reminded of the original Chroming Rose vocalist, which is a good thing.
Elegy became the great band we all came to love and respect once they managed to organize their musical ideas in a more harnessed and refined context, especially during the Ian Parry era. Though it is certainly not their best offering, it is certainly an important record in that it helped kick-start the band and opened them a solid career, setting them apart from many other acts along the way.
Overall, this is a great album that got totally overlooked (most likely thanks to being from the Netherlands). Really, these guys deserve a share of all the ridiculous amounts of success and acclaim that Dream Theater's been getting. Anyway, if you like Power/Prog Metal, and are willing to put up with some kind of sappy lyrics, you will enjoy this album! Maybe you'll take a while to get into it, but you'll love it!!!
"Labyrinth Of Dreams" reaches number 42 on the album charts in Japan. Japanese edition features different cover art and booklet insert.
MMT Music/EMI-Music Publishing Germany/Shark Records/M.D.F. by Alfa Records, Inc. (Tokyo, Japan), 1992 (ALCB-762). Made in Japan. First press.
1. The Grand Change 4:42
2. I'm No Fool 4:56
3. Take My Love 4:47
4. All Systems Go 2:56
5. Trouble In Paradise 5:35
6. Over And Out 3:42
7. Labyrinth Of Dreams 6:09
8. Mass Hysteria 1:24
9. Powergames 4:25
10. The Guiding Light 3:14
Total playing time: 41:50