• Perfect package for old and new fans - A review of Elvenking's "The Night of Nights - Live"

    After a career of nearly two decades, Italian power folk veterans Elvenking finally organized and recorded a special concert with numerous guest musicians and singers earlier this year. The final product features two hours of music and is both a perfect introduction to the band for new fans and a great Christmas gift for fans of long date who have been asking for a live release for many years by now.

    "The Night of Nights" is the real deal for genre fans. It offers a highly entertaining mixture of dramatic, emotional and playful epics like "Seasonspeech", powerful and short sing-along anthems as "Elvenlegions" and even a few rare acoustic highlights like the relaxed "From Blood to Stone". Over the course of two hours, the musical episodes taken from eight studio albums and one demo record are hold together by short yet fitting instrumental parts like the atmospheric "A Prayer to Cernunnos" or the samples of different Elvenking classics that weren't played live that night in "Elven Aftermath". An energizing drum solo with electronic music elements in form of "Symohn's Bash" is also a welcome new addition to Elvenking's music. Despite an unusually long running time featuring twenty-five songs, this release isn't boring for one single second in my book. The only negative element I would mention is the lack of tracks chosen from the atmospheric, controversial and modern "The Scythe" which is only represented by "The Divided Heart" where the crowd gets invited to jump around.

    Talking about the crowd, the live recording has an intimate atmosphere. Elvenking is not playing in front of many fans but in front of truly faithful fans. You can hear them cheering the band, singing their songs when the band takes a short break and they are sometimes even directly interacting with the musicians. Listening to this live document gives you the authentic feeling to stand right in between the crowd and the band on stage. The band's numerous interactions with its fans are orchestrated by band leader Davide "Damnagoras" Moras who is an outstanding entertainer. He speaks both Italian to most of the local fans and English to some international fans who were present during the recording of this gem. This equal mixture of languages never sounds artificial or forced because the singer easily switches and feels at ease expressing himself at all times.

    In addition to the entire concert on two CDs and one DVD, this release includes a few nice additional video clips, lyric videos and teasers. The honest message and numerous photos in the booklet also fit for this special occasion. The new cover artwork surely has its charm as well. Overall, the band really offers value for money with this package. Old and new fans can rejoice alike and should get their hands on the physical version of this release.

    Final rating: 9,5/10

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