For those who are familiar with their name know what to expect from this review, for the others less fortunate let me take a moment to apprise you of the wonder that is Eluveitie. Founded by Chrigel Glanzmann back in 2002, this Swiss Folk metal band is 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). “Evocation” a project that was conceptualised in 2008, started off with its first part “Evocation I: The Arcane Dominion” which was released in April 2009. A second part of the Evocation project “Evocation II: Pantheon” was announced in September 2016 and was released in August 2017 under the record label Nuclear Blast.
This album is nothing like its predecessors, having a tremendous blend of Wind and string instruments to recreate the sound of earth. All of the 18 songs have been named after Celtic gods, sounds like a lot of research went into the making of this album.
The album opens up with “Dureððu” which makes for a very atmospheric introduction to the album. “Epona” picks up pace with an upbeat melody on the violin, more acoustic sound and fresh vocals of Fabienne Erni. Flutes (“Svcellos II”) and a twang of guitar arpeggios breeze through “Belenos”. “Nantosvelta”, “Aventia” and “Lvgvs” have a catchy and refreshing celtic riff with full cast jumping in and making a cheerful number out of it.“Tovtatis” is an enchanted narration with a backdrop of Hurdy gurdy a definite to take you in a trance.
“Grannos” and “Ogmios” have a traditional folk sound with a slowly strummed acoustic guitar which takes an upbeat swing as it progresses further making it sound like a song for celebration. “Cernvnnos” more narrative styled delivery lets all its members add flavour giving it a well-rounded sound. “Catvrix” sounds heavy and demonic at the outset with subdued growls being intertwined with high hitting clean vocals.
Fabienne Erni’s tremendous vocal prowess is heard on “Artio” wavering, modelling and hitting a plethora of notes with such efficacy, kind of hypnotizes with the gothic ambient soundscape and flutes at the backdrop. “Esvs” gives us a beautiful medley between flutes, guitars and mandola as it ends on an exotic orchestrated and symphonic vocals.
Now is it just me, or does anyone else hears “Scarborough Fair” on “Antvmnos”, or has it been an inspiration for the song? “Tarvos II (Sequel)” pelts out great riffs on the bagpipes and the guitar. “Taranis” is an upbeat and one of the fast paced songs on the album. “Nemeton” closes off the album with the same atmospheric soundscapes with the wind gushing and whispered enchants.
Production : The production on this album is top notch and it sounds nothing less than a score for a movie.
Conclusion: After a long while have I appreciated any record, for the breadth and versatility it offers. Please bear in mind, this is no Metal album, but a fine progression into the realms of true folk music. Eluveitie have reshaped themselves and with this direction have carved out a niche. I recommend you buy it!
Written by: Ankit Sood
01. Dureððu 01:23
02. Epona 03:47
03. Svcellos II (Sequel) 01:28
04. Nantosvelta 02:45
05. Tovtatis 01:05
06. Lvgvs 04:16
07. Grannos 03:23
08. Cernvnnos 02:54
09. Catvrix 02:44
10. Artio 05:11
11. Aventia 03:30
12. Ogmios 03:13
13. Esvs 03:48
14. Antvmnos 03:43
15. Tarvos II (Sequel) 02:43
16. Belenos 03:09
17. Taranis 02:41
18. Nemeton 01:23
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
“Evocation I – The Arcane Dominion” (2009)
“Everything Remains as It Never Was” (2010)
Record Label: Nuclear Blast, Aug. 2017
Video for ‘Catvrix’
Video for ‘ Lvgvs’
Video for ‘Epona’