Eleine – Dancing In Hell

Rating: 4.5/5
Distributor/Label: Sound Pollution / Black Lodge Records
Released: 2020
Buy Album: https://soundpollution.se/en/shop/results,1-24?keyword=ELEINE&limitstart=0&option=com_virtuemart&view=category&Itemid=614
Band Websites: www.eleine.com | Bandcamp | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Band line-up:

Madeleine Liljestam – vocals
Rikard Ekberg – guitars, vocals
Jesper Sunnhagen – drums
Anton Helgesson – bass


1. Enemies
2. Dancing In Hell
3. Ava Of Death
4. Crawl From The Ashes
5. As I Breathe
6. Memoriam
7. Where Your Rotting Corpse Lie (W.Y.R.C.L.)
8. All Shall Burn
9. Die From Within
10. The World We Knew
11. Die From Within (Symphonic Version)


Eleine are a symphonic metal act, hailing from Landskrona, Sweden. The Scandinavian metallers have been around for less than a decade and have already recorded three full-lengths in the space of five years. Third album, Dancing In Hell, is set for release November 27th, 2020 via Black Lodge Records.

‘Enemies’ – a track that made its debut as a single ahead of the All Shall Burn EP last year – is a winning start to the record. The female vocals from Madeleine Liljestam are both captivating and killer, serving a taster of what Dancing In Hell has to offer.

Title track ‘Dancing In Hell’ showcases an alluring female vocal performance countered by male growls from guitarist-vocalist Rikard Ekberg. Like many of the songs on Dancing In Hell, the dark lyrics are delivered by Madeleine in an angelic manner, which complements both the heavy and symphonic instruments.

‘Ava Of Death’ exudes ferocity from beginning to end, with Madeleine’s vocals managing to sound beautiful yet aggressive. What makes this song stand out is that it does not rely solely on the male vocals or instrumentation to pack a punch; it is a fierce song through and through.

The chorals and symphonic elements do well to provide as much emotion as the vocals during ‘Crawl From The Ashes’, while the guitar melodies give off a triumphant vibe. The lyrics explore subjects such as death and religion, the song seeming to refer to the rebirth of a phoenix as its title suggests. Continuing with the theme of victory, the lively ‘As I Breathe’ is up next. The drumming from Jesper Sunnhagen shines particularly here, providing the backbone to this dramatic, upbeat number.

‘Memoriam’ sheds much of the aggression exhibited on the rest of the album. The longest song captivates with a softer approach, hosting lyrics that feel personal and vulnerable. As much as Rikard’s voice successfully counters Madeleine’s, her vocals can really hold their own, and Dancing In Hell’s middle track demonstrates this perfectly.

Hearing the bombastic ‘Where Your Rotting Corpse Lie’ for the first time, one cannot help but wonder what it would be like to experience it in a live setting. Bassist Anton Helgesson does an excellent job on four-string, ensuring that ‘W.Y.R.C.L.’ will have listeners banging their heads. There are some clever moments in terms of how the vocal duties have been shared by Madeleine & Rikard, which adds another exciting layer to the energetic track.

During ‘All Shall Burn’ (which is also the title track from Eleine’s last EP), Rikard delivers a clean verse that adds some much-welcome variety to the vocal department. A fantastic guitar solo introduces ‘Die From Within’, the most epic-sounding offering on Dancing In Hell. Everything soars to the stars on this ninth number; it is almost impossible to single out a favourite moment.

‘The World We Knew’ is a 96-second piano piece that separates the album and symphonic versions of ‘Die From Within’. It works as a nice setup for the final track, as it is has a very serene, calming effect that contrasts with all the earlier songs.

On ‘Die From Within (Symphonic Version)’ all that has really changed here from the regular version is the lack of guitars and less percussion, which – for a band which already falls under the symphonic umbrella – could have been pushed further. However, it is interesting to hear the choral elements and vocals without the heavy instruments, as the lyrics are allowed to dominate the sound in this instance.

A well-balanced album full of darkened determination, which will surely inspire individuals to overcome all that plagues them. For fans of Nightwish, Epica, Delain, Xandria, and Beyond The Black.

Review by Kira Levine