The much anticipated Eighth Studio album from the Swiss Folk metal band Eluveitie, “Ategnatos” comes out after 2 years from their last release “Evocation II: Pantheon”. It was released on the 5th of April 2019 through Nuclear Blast Records. Founded by Chrigel Glanzmann back in 2002, they are known for incorporating traditional instruments such as the likes of Hurdy Gurdy, flutes, violin, bagpipes, tin whistles to name a few. Their sound has a blend of Celtic folk melodies with Gothenburg styled Melodic death metal and vocals often written in English and ancient extinct Gaulish.
Often referred to as the The New wave folk metal, “Eluveitie” is interpreted in the Etruscan language as “The Swiss” and ever since its formation has known to have huge line-up (An average of 9 members). The band has had couple of line-up changes over the years, as they tried to reinvent themselves and find their sound. Folk metal presents itself with tremendous opportunity as there is so much room for experimentation and song writing. With Pantheon being one of my favorite albums I take upon myself to be unbiased when I write this down. The album runs for an hour and has 16 songs in its arsenal.
The album opens up with title track building on cinematic soundscapes, supplemented with narration (Alexander Morton) as folk elements and a barrage of guitar riffs seep in. The song picks up pace as it progresses and astonishes with a catchy chorus towards the end. “Ancus” transitions to “Deathwalker” which opens up to a beautiful melody and with no time catches you off guard with a meaty riff. The guttural vocals adds tremendous energy and the fiddle soloing to an operatic chorus adds a great flavor to the song. “Black water Dawn” refreshes with a hypnotic flute tune dancing on a catchy rhythm, Fabienne Erni chimes in with a beautiful vibrato adding a new dimension to this song, as it progresses.
“A Cry in the Wilderness” gushes in heavy guitar riffage, running effortlessly on blast beats and a deathly growl, at the onset. At the middle, a beautiful folk section awaits and as it meddles back to the song, showcases mature songwriting. “The Raven Hill” has one of my favorite vocal sections of the album, as a choir effect takes their sound on a higher pedestal. With “The Silvern Glow”, Exotic Flutes and acoustic guitars pauses the energy before moving on to “Ambiramus” where Fabienne leads on the vocals (with second vocals) gratifying the audience.
“Mine Is the Fury” pumps up energy right back into the albums veins much thanks to the guttural vocals driving the song. “The Slumber” surprised me at various levels. I loved how it’s clean Intro, accentuated by Fabienne haunting voice and a choppy guitar riff sets out and juggles throughout the song giving so much substance to the song. What’s more astonishing is collaboration with Randy Blythe and his narration on “Worship” which fuels on blast beats and a plethora of folk elements giving this song a unique voice.
“Trinoxtion” gives you a breezy flute running past rainfall as it progresses into “Threefold Death” where Fabienne lurks us in hoping for an acoustic sound, but instead leaves spellbound and stunned with a heavy chunky riff (having a twisted progression) which oscillates throughout the song, giving it quite a haunted feel. Be it for its neat guitar solo or the choir section at the end of the song, Fabienne doesn’t shy away from showcasing her vocal range and drives “Breathe”. “Rebirth” is probably the heaviest song of the album, the guitar tone is meaty and the guitar chops would definitely get you head-banging. The various guitars and fiddle solos are a treat to the audiophile and will make this song go in for multiple spins.
This tremendous work of art culminates with “Eclipse” which is the perfect outro to the storm that’s “Ategnatos”.
Production: The production on this album is top notch. The ambient sounds and various soundscapes were recorded impeccably that made this album sound nothing less than perfect.
Conclusion: The songs on this album are so unique and different from one another but the way they fall in place one after the other showcases the concept at large and gives the listener so much hope. Spin it!
Written by: Ankit Sood
04. Black Water Dawn
05. A Cry in the Wilderness
06. The Raven Hill
07. The Silvern Glow
09. Mine Is the Fury
10. The Slumber
13. Threefold Death
Chrigel Glanzmann – vocals, mandola, whistles, pipes, guitar, bodhrán, harp
Kay Brem – bass guitar
Rafael Salzmann – lead guitar
Nicole Ansperger – violin, backing vocals
Matteo Sisti – bagpipes, whistles, mandola
Alain Ackermann – drums
Jonas Wolf – rhythm guitar
Michalina Malisz – hurdy-gurdy
Fabienne Erni – vocals, celtic harp, mandola
Coen Strouken – violin
Rebecca Thies – violin
Sandrine Kindler-Chanson – violin
Anne Jeger – cello
Alexander Morton – narration (track 1, 3, and 14)
Randy Blythe – additional vocals/narration (track 11)
Meri Tadić – narration (track 12)
Evocation I – The Arcane Dominion (2009)
Everything Remains as It Never Was (2010)
Evocation II – Pantheon (2017)
Video for ‘Ambiramus’
Video for ‘Worship’
Video for ‘Ategnatos’
Video for ‘Rebirth’