Reader of the Runes - Rapture

Release: April 28th 2023

A return to fantasy: On April 28th, 2023, Elvenking will continue their epic quest with “Reader Of The Runes – Rapture”, the sequel to their 2019 blockbuster record “Reader of the Runes – Divination”. Forging a potent magic stronger than ever by evoking the essence of heavy metal, pagan metal, folk and melodic death metal, Elvenking set sail to horizons more distant than ever before, boldly taking the world by storm with their quintessentially unique approach to heavy, powerful music.

“We feel stronger than ever”, frontman and vocalist Damna states. “I believe after so many years we have gained full confidence in what we do and especially in what we want to achieve. The path in front of us is clear. We have left behind all fancies, inexperience and immaturity and we know inherently what is possible and what is not.” Words spoken truly: Since their inception in 1997, the band mastered their way to their own identity with courage and bravado, leaving behind the shackles of genres step by step before they truly broke out with their 2014 monument “The Pagan Manifesto”. For four albums now, Elvenking have been defying all genres, feeling quite at home in their very own enchanted realm.


“Rapture”, part two of their monumental “Reader of the Runes” trilogy, bears witness to this evolution: The chemistry of the band consisting of Damna (vocals), Aydan (guitars), Headmatt (guitars), Lethien (violin), Jakob (bass) and Symohn (drums) has become an almost tangible thing, a testimony to their collective willpower. “The chemistry inside the band is perfect at the moment,” Aydan nods. “Everyone in the band is perfectly aware of his role inside a complex mechanism such as Elvenking. This is fundamental in order to avoid cracks in the gear to proceed under full sail.” With the return of drummer Symohn and the addition of touring guitarist Headmatt as permanent member, Elvenking may very well have the best line-up so far, pairing fathomless passion with discipline and skill.

Written between 2020 and 2022, and recorded between May and October 2022 by the band and renowned producer Scott Atkins (Cradle of Filth, Behemoth) who also took over mixing and mastering duties, Elvenking control every tiny step of a new record. “We record ourselves for almost 20 years now,” says Aydan. “I believe we have a crystal clear vision of what we need for each album in terms of production, sound, arrangements and performances. We are so focused on our music that I’m pretty sure we can be the only ones to manage the whole process to get the result we have in our minds.”

Migrating onto a new, altogether darker path while we follow this mysterious figure called the Reader of Runes deeper into the story, “Rapture” shows its long fangs in what are essentially some of the heaviest and most extreme songs Elvenking have ever unleashed. “The tone of the album is darker because the story needed the music to be tragic and violent,” vocalist Damna states. “This gave us the chance to dig deep into our extreme metal influences. We are mainly a melodic metal band – we know that – but we feel that with this album we have set a further gold standard in what this band is able to pull off.” Akin in dramatic flair and atmosphere to the second act of an opera, the divinations the Reader of the Runes made in the first part will turn into horrible reality on this one. Oh yes, there will be blood.


Opening song “Rapture”, an epic tale with fantastic orchestration, dramatic shifts and crushing guitars, also serves as first single – the perfect introduction to this stormy, fantastic voyage. “After three years of absence we decided to give our fans a diverse taste of the album,” Aydan explains the choice. “This is one of the longest tracks and we feel it has all the epicness, the tragic nature and most of the nuances that the album incorporates in its entire length.” It’s not alone in terms of epicness, of course: “The Hanging Tree” sports one of the best refrains you will hear in metal this year while straight shooter “Bride of Night” proves that Elvenking can also write catchy yet ambitions bangers.

However, instead of emphasizing singular songs, “Rapture” should be enjoyed as a radiant whole. An epic metal quest of woe and despair, wrought with mysterious figures, dark magic and an altogether mesmerizing autumnal flair reminiscent of a forest glade during Indian Summer. This is so much more than a metal album. It’s a moving story set to fabulous songs, bridging the gap between fantasy and reality. Many times before, Elvenking have weaved powerful magic into the world. This time, they truly came into their own, wresting their best effort yet from a global pandemic. If that isn’t magic, then what is?


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