Okay, what do we know about Eilera? She’s from the South of France, her guitarist’s name is Loïc, and she used to be in a couple metal bands. She went to Helsinki to woo Spinefarm, got rejected, worked some more, and got in. That’s the 101 of what you have to know on Eilera. But on the other hand, it’s going to be a pickle to be fair on a metal point of view with this CD. Because it’s pop. You are going to love this if you are into Björk or the Coors. Me personally, I like my Celtic rock with more punk in it, like Flogging Molly or the Dropkick Murphys, even the Pogues, why not. This is Celtic, Solas style, or if you prefer, it sounds more Irish than French. Now, I really like to stick to my usual grading system because it keeps me fair and objective.
Before I go any further, there are just some things that I don’t understand, and that don’t come out of my mind as I listen to the record. First and foremost: why is Eilera signed on Spinefarm? I mean, everyone who knows me remembers that I have a secret crush on that label. Everyone who knows me (and this is even on my staff profile) knows that I’m really, and I mean really into folk and Celtic music over and above anything else. And Eleira is very nice to listen to, but somehow, I just don’t find it consistent with the rest of Spine’s roster. It’s just so… Mainstream. I promise I don’t mean that in a bad way, but it’s just that I would have imagined say Transmission Records putting this out more. It’s really pop, and atmospheric, and even my mom likes it. That’s gotta tell you something.
Now let’s get down to business after that log intro. Track one, ‘Fusion’ is a definite 10 green clovers out of 10. It’s a great, powerful song, with fantastic cellos, an interesting, yet very nasal crescendo voice, and some neat doom chords. Definitely the best track on the record, a great single.
‘My Happyland’ has some clearly Matmatah and even Manau-like French influences, especially in the violin solo, together with some dark keyboards. A great Celtic intro with violins and everything that makes us like Clannad and Solas. I really like that intro, reminds me sometimes of Tristania, with the keyboards and all, and stargely it also reminds me of the soundtrack to ‘O’ brother’.
On the other hand, ‘the angel you love, the angel you hate’ is less inspired than the first 2 songs, and the angry screaming that occupies the last third of the song really needs to go. I always fast forward to the next track, because I really don’t find that screaming necessary.
The song ‘Precious Moment’ is another Tristania-anolog. It’s nice, although all over the record, I feel that singing is a little too nasal. I think it’s meant to sound different from the other metal-girl singers out there, I mean either the operatic/chorus ones like Tarja, Vibeke and company, or the Evanescence like stuff like Amy or Sharon, and from the classic oldschool metal chick ‘diva for rent’ style like Sarah Deva or Liv Kristine. Therefore, the singing does sound different from all of the above, but yet I don’t know if this type of singing can be sustained live, or how the music can be performed live. There is so much programming and session musicians that I can’t imagine what touring can be like…
On the whole, this record is nicely done, but I think Eilera needs to find her own voice and style, because to me this record sounds a little too much like Björk. But this is a good start.