Evocation I - The Arcane Dominion

You’ve got to respect a band like Eluveitie. To make such a bold move like this after a highly impressive album like Slania is rather bizarre, especially when your fan base is just starting to grow. Evocation I – The Arcane Dominion, departs far from the melodic death approach and firmly embraces the bands desire to create ancient melodies and full-on acoustic folk.

The first noticeable change, besides the lack of electric brutality, is the vocal presentation. Anna Murphy (hurdy-gurdy player) helms most of the material this time through. Main man Chrigel Glanzmann can be heard adding his usual harsh scream from time to time but never does he fully embrace the songs himself. Vocally, Miss Murphy does an excellent job adding everything from soaring mystical chants to downright poppy presentations with very catchy hooks. “Brictom” and “Omnos” are the two most prominent catchy songs. A lot of tracks on Evocation I are either instrumental with whispers or spoken vocals and some are just sounds. Personally, I find these to be wasted tracks, although they do help to create a primeval and nature inspired atmosphere. I am just not a fan of albums with fifteen tracks and half of them being fillers.

Eluveitie are very abstract and talented with the bulk of the material containing outstanding songwriting. However, fans of the bands earlier material may find Evocation I to be weak and completely off path. There is no heavy metal present at all. A record like this is best placed in the Swiss pop charts than anything. Along with “Omnos,” “Dessumiis Luge” sounds like the Gallic version of Lady Gaga or Pink.

Obviously, the dark elements that the band possesses are still present. This is a grey album with a depressive undertone. The traditional instruments used make this like nothing else you’ve ever heard. Eluveitie truly have created their own thing here, like it or not. Hurdy-gurdy is front and center on a lot of these songs. Unfortunately, the acoustic guitar is not the center of attention on this album. It is definitely present and creates some excellent sounds like on “Ne Regv Na.” Towards the end of the album things slow down and get darker with very somber tracks.

The more I listen to Evocation I- The Arcane Dominion the more I find enjoyment in it. Eluveitie are a very intellectual band and they have earned my respect just for the plain fact that the do what they want and they are good at it. They are like the Opeth of folk music right now and you just cannot argue with their capabilities. Unfortunately, for us who like things heavy, this album won’t suffice. Lets hope they pick up were they left off on the next album. Still, this is quality material.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Shane Wolfensberger
June 9th, 2009


  1. Commented by: Dan Zidar

    “Slania” was their 2nd full length album. “Spirit” was their first from 2006. I’m looking forward to picking this new one up.

  2. Commented by: Dan Zidar

    Never mind Shane, I misread. You did not say “Slania” was their debut.

    Excellent review regardless.

  3. Commented by: Chris S.

    Shane, did you get a chance to watch the DVD that comes with it? if so, any good?

  4. Commented by: Shane

    I did not recieve the DVD portion as this was sent to me via email. Damn you Erik!!!!

    No problem Dan.

  5. Commented by: Erik Thomas

    Its was a digital promo- so it never came with dvd portion.

  6. Commented by: mike

    I’ve got the DVD, but haven’t had time to watch it yet. But based on the Tour Edition of Slania, I’m sure the DVD is quality.

    As for this album, it’s solid, but I need a metal Eluveitie fix. Apparently part 2 of this acoustic set will be released later in the year — so hopefully a metal release next year.

  7. Commented by: rahan

    i am not agree with the comment:
    “Personally, I find these to be wasted tracks, although they do help to create a primeval and nature inspired atmosphere. I am just not a fan of albums with fifteen tracks and half of them being fillers.”
    I strongly believe that The Arcane Dominion is one of the best albums i have heard in the las 10 years of metal., Amazing work and very profound. i would call it “forest metal ” such one that can get you into a trance mood. An album rich in feelings and senses. Maybe an album for older guys like me around 30 years old that i am, and if its so , then Thank you from my soul for the songs like: “Ne regv na, The arcane dominion, Carnutian forest, Dessumiis luge, Memento, and Brictom” And i also have to admit that i got hooked by the song “Omnos” and its nice video on you tube, but, the music that i found it in the Arcane was deeper than i thought and those who are from north or east Europe are going to understand exactly the sounds that i am talking about, like a shepherd’s flute for example.
    However, about changing the style,i listen metal since 1989 and i never was sceptic on the way that the sound evolves for one band, because they always come back to the roots. like it happened to bands like: Tiamat, Paradise Lost or Amorphis, all of them i enjoyed from disc to disc.To see them growing from a death metal band through the depech-mode sound and finishing by finding they’re own, original sound. and this is what i am advise everyone to do. Open your mind and enjoy it.
    thank you.

  8. Commented by: rahan

    oh, one more thing, I really hope for this guys to have more Evocations like this.

Leave a Reply

Privacy notice: When you submit a comment, your creditentials, message and IP address will be logged. A cookie will also be created on your browser with your chosen name and email, so that you do not need to type them again to post a new comment. All post and details will also go through an automatic spam check via Akismet's servers and need to be manually approved (so don't wonder about the delay). We purge our logs from your meta-data at frequent intervals.

  • WyndRider - Revival
  • Unleashed - Before the Creation of Time
  • Ulcerate - Cutting the Throat of God
  • Assassin - The Upcoming Terror/ Interstellar Experience (Reissues)
  • Nyrak - Devourer of All
  • Summoner’s Circle - Cult
  • Kratti - Matka Kohti Kosmista
  • Suffering Souls - An Iconic Taste of Demise
  • Vale of Pnath - Between the Worlds of Life and Death
  • Pathology - Unholy Descent
  • Ischemic - Condemned to the Breaking Wheel
  • Terminal Nation  - Echoes of the Devil’s Den
  • (Un)Worthy - This Present Darkness
  • Severe Torture - Torn From the Jaws of Death
  • Nocturnus AD - Unicursal