Elenium's first album, For Giving - For Getting has much in common with some of their better known countrymen, bands like Amorphis and Sentenced, in that it attempts to respect death metal's core values of aggression and brutality while seeking to push its boundaries into stylistic realms unknown. Unfortunately for Elenium, this debut release -- approaching eight years in the making since the group's inception in 1995 -- simply fails to impress, with forceful but rather faceless numbers like "Up the Long Ladder" and "Moments" fading into forgetfulness as soon as they're complete. Vocalist Jukka's inexpressive, barked grunts (see "Eye for a Lie") are no help either -- in fact they're just plain grating after a while. And despite peeling off a number of pyrotechnically intriguing guitar solos, the six-string duo of Tommi Leinonen and Kasperi Heikkinen also fall short of the fireworks delivered by other up-and-coming Finnish titans like Omnium Gatherum or Mors Principum Est. Rather, theirs is a pedestrian charge of jagged riffs -- while their peers absolutely overpower, dominate, and kill. And of course there's little here that compares to the creative breadth and outright inspiration of the Finnish scene's reigning godfathers, the aforementioned Amorphis, but, judging from their obvious technical qualifications, there's at least hope that Elenium will have better luck next time.
AllMusic Review by Eduardo Rivadavia