My first exposure to Elfonia was through hearing Marcela Bovio’s participation in Ayreon’s The Human Equation”. Marcela is also involved in another Ayreon based project called Streams of Passion. Unfortunately I have yet to hear anything from that band. Also performing in Stream of Passion is Elfonia’s keyboardist Alejandro Milán.
Both Marcela and Alejandro are obviously the heart and soul of Elfonía, with Marcela taking more of the spotlight with her beautiful angelic vocals. She has a wide range to her without coming off as another one of those operatic female vocalists today.After hearing Marcela in Ayreon. I tracked down Elfonia’s debut and absolutely loved it from beginning to end. I went to the band’s website and saw they were to release a second one. Unfortunately it seems that the news of it was overshadowed by the Stream of Passion band. Just like the first Elfonia, this one entitled This Sonic Landscape is a mixture of many styles such as progressive rock, gothic styled metal, jazzy avant-garde and melodic surrealistic soundscapes. It, like the debut is primarily sung in Spanish but on This Sonic Landscape there are some English vocals included. Most people might be turned off by this but once you hear Marcela’s vocals that soon passes. The rest of the band shines as well especially with some progressive elements such as swirling keyboards. Guitar loops and a solid rythmn section that knows when and where to be heard.
My favorite songs on the album is “Travelling”. Within it’s short (under 4 minutes) presence it encapsulates everything I love about progressive rock. It has the majestic story telling through lyrics and music, unexpected breaks and the finest harmonies I’ve heard in a while. I challenge other progressive rock bands to do this in a 4 minute song.
The album closes with the trilogy “Gigantes”, simply entitled part “I,” “II” and “III”. Combined it’s almost 15 minutes of pure surrealistic bliss for fans of gothic folk rock with progressive and avant-garde elements.
Band’s like Elfonia is reasons why I’m such an avid music fan. They aren’t just musicians, they are modern composers of beautiful music that, in my opinion, makes progressive rock the best genre in music today! Sound good to you but not sure? Well the band’s website offers full downloads of their first record and three sound clips of This Sonic Landscape. This is one of the better releases of 2005 and is on my top favorites. I give it a high recommendation for fans of female fronted music whether it be rock, goth, metal or prog! It should also be mentioned that Arjen (Ayreon) guests on guitars on one track, Camelon. Even in his brief appearance it was enough to add the Ayreon touch to Elfonia. Not enough to take away their identity. I'm sure having him on will help boost sales.
Reviewed by Ron Fuchs on Novemeber 1st, 2005