News | Elegy Reunion 2023
A Unique Success Story
+++Official Press release The Rock Online+++
ELEGY REUNION 2023
After almost 25 years Elegy celebrate the release on special picture disc vinyls of their entire 8 album collection with “THE REUNION” tour starting in 2023. Looking back upon their long spanning career `Elegy’ who have sold more than 250,000 albums in more than 60 countries worldwide. The origins of the band name Elegy as dictionary’s explanation is rock solid. A poem written in elegiac meter; a lament or song of sorrow. However the bands entire musical history was nothing more than a unique success story in the annals of Prog rock metal.
Antje Lange – former “boss” of Elegy as head of Noise and Sanctuary records says:
“Elegy is one of the most talented bands I worked with. Extremely creative and virtuosic. We worked together for many years and it was always a pleasure sharing ideas with this dedicated band. I am really happy to hear that Elegy has re-united and I wish them all the best from the depth of my heart”.
Now Elegy reunited with their ultimate line-up;
- Ian Parry – Vocals
- Henk van der Laars – Guitar
- Gilbert Pot – Guitar / keyboards
- Martin Helmantel – Bass
- Dirk Bruinenberg – Drums.
The band will perform songs from their first 3 albums `Labyrinth of Dreams’, `Supremacy & Lost’, including their worldwide successful `State of Mind 1997′ album followed by “Manifstation of Fear” 1998, produced by Helloween “Keeper Of The Seven Keys” producer Tommy Newton.
ABOUT ELEGY BY EDWIN VAN HOOF
A taunting spell seemed to be following the progressive metal band around since the earliest days of their existence. Dozens of line up changes slowly pointed the band their own direction and sound in music build around the signature twinguitar sound of Henk van der Laars and Arno van Brussel. The addition of long time friend Martin Helmantel on bass and the talented Ed Warbie on drums paved the way for a new and more technical approach in songwriting. With the addition of the high pitched and dramatic voice of Eduard Hovinga, the band found their trademark sound which soon was noticed by many around the globe. Winning a band contest in front of a sold out German Zeche should have launched their careers if it wasn’t for Polydor Records retracting their world wide record deal at the last notice. Elegy grew stronger and stronger as did their craftsmanship in songwriting.
In 1991 Elegy signs their first recording contract & record their elusive “Labyrinth of Dreams” debut in 1992. An album packed with top notch progressive metal tunes, thunderous drums and bass, breathtaking twin guitar solos and the dramatic and crystal clear vocals of Hovinga. Elegy takes Japan by storm proven by an exclusive sold out show in Osaka and an extensive promo tour, where Europe seems ignorant to their unique sound where Elegy becomes prog-metals best kept secret.
In 1993 Ed Warbie introduces his follow up Dirk Bruinenberg personally whilst he joins Dutch Gorefest. Gilbert Pot fills the slot of second guitar player left by van Brussel to record “Supremacy”, which in all ways shows the drive to thrive from the Dutch prog metallers on an action packed release. Japan glorifies the quintet finding themselves on the verge of a breakthrough. “Lost” is the band’s third studio effort which shows a band still growing musically. When in 1995 Hovinga leaves the band to pursue a solo career, none other than Ian Parry (Vengeance, Consortium, Ayreon, Hammerhead) takes the microphone on the mini CD “Primal Instinct”. “State of Mind” showcases an expanded field of operation thanks to Parry’s wide range and tops its predecessors on all accounts, with Japanese BURRN!! Magazine voting Parry in the top vocalists for 1997!
The new promotion trip and tour into the Far East with van der Laars being untraceable for days and showing up at last notice prior to leaving for the airport, again is a success story. Europe finally catches on and the band is booked on an extensive tour with Stratovarius. “Manifestation of Fear” easily matches “State of Mind” boosting the band’s ambition.
Again Ian Parry and Henk van der Laars are flown over to Japan to do a week of acoustic performances before heading back to Europe to tour with Kamelot. The upward curve is slightly adjusted when “Forbidden Fruit” shows another line up change with long time serving Henk van der Laars departing to favour family duties. With Henk, the band loses a unique songwriter as well as a guitar player with a truly unique sound, a gap hard to fill. Elegy, and Martin in particular will not rest until a proper replacement is introduced.
Newly injected élan is brought in by one of the most skilful players in modern music; Patrick Rondat (Jean Michael Jarre, G3). Helmantel and Parry are the frontrunners of the band guarding the heritance and sound with Rondat adding more fuel to the creative fire with his extravagant semi classical guitar playing which eventually leads to the recording of the band’s masterpiece “Principles of Pain”. Much to the fans’ surprise “Missing Persons” features former vocalist Eduard Hovinga in duet with Parry. An action packed metal album bursting with musical craftsmanship and extraordinary songwriting, and perhaps one of metal’s most underrated CD’s of the last decade. The success of this album even brings them to the US for the first time, playing the first edition of the infamous Brave Words and Bloody Knuckles festival in Cleveland!
Over the years Elegy managed to grow and refresh, crystallizing their direction, getting more complex without losing sight. Even though the music is packed with breathtaking breaks and high speed guitar outbursts, the song always came first. Recognisable and well arranged.
Elegy paved ways for many progressive metal bands to come…Edwin van Hoof!
Additional comments from former record company manager and Canadian journalist!:
Prior to the release of State Of Mind in 1997 Elegy was an unknown entity to me. I was sufficiently intrigued by their sound upon receiving the CD, however – which I likened to a prog-rock bastard child of Deep Purple at the time – to take up Noise Records promo goddess Sandra Rudolph’s offer to interview Ian Parry and Henk van der Laars during the press junket for the album. Ground zero was Nürnberg, Germany, and we clicked even before the first beer had been poured, turning a what could have been a typical Q&A session into an off-the-wall party that ultimately set the stage for similar meetings in the years that followed. The music came first, of course, but the personalities behind Elegy’s music also made the kilometers travelled to see them play and the hangovers that often followed worth it.
Looking back, I realize there isn’t nearly enough space to list my favourite moments as a footnote in Elegy’s history. The hot and sweaty crowd-pleasing show at the Ludwigsburg Rockfabrik followed by a huge aftershow piss-up; discovering that radio personality Hein Hart’s BMW could go from 200 to 0 in .4 nanoseconds when I had to empty my stomach on the way home from said party; Dirk air-drumming sidestage to Stratovarius’ set in Augsburg beat for beat and fill for fill; Henk’s beer can pyramid in Offenbach…the list goes on and on. Elegy were the underdogs and they most certainly deserved more attention than they received, but they became and remain one of “my” bands, and much more than a mere collection of CDs on a shelf.
Carl Begai BW&BK May 21st, 2007
Photos: Conny van den Heuvel of DCH Photography