Eluveitie
Helvetios

Swiss act Eluveitie has been in my music collection since late 2009 when I got the bands watershed second effort, Slania. In 2010, when the band posted the music video for their (at the time) brand new song, “Thousandfold”, I immediately went to Nuclear Blast and pre-ordered Everything Remains (as it Never Was). That statement alone should tell you how quickly and strongly this band has pulled me into their one-of-a-kind musical universe of beauty and tranquility. But using big words and writing like I’m some kind of Canadian fantasy novelist isn’t going to get my point across. This is one of those times where I thought “these guys can’t possibly get any better than this!” and was proved wrong when the next album was released. For those of you that still aren’t familiar with Eluveitie, here’s a quick summary; Eluveitie takes atmospheric and melodic European folk music and fuses it with melodic death metal. Although they do far more than just fusing those two completely different genres, that’s the blueprint that they build 90% of their songs off of.

As far as the sound of everything on the record, it sounds almost exactly like their previous album, Everything Remains…. Not necessarily a bad thing, but don’t expect the instruments to sound any different than Everything Remains…. Although  a slight difference that Eluveitie die hards would notice is that this album has  more bass than Everything Remains… As well as that, the majority of the music sounds just like Everything Remains… Here’s why I don’t consider this a bad thing: it’s perfectly fine if a band makes two albums in a row that have the same sound as long as the third album sounds different. There is such a thing as too much change because it kind of makes it hard to keep up with. I actually like it when bands release two albums in a row that have the same basic sound…but only if the sound is amazing.

And luckily, the sound is amazing! The musicians seem to have improved their instrumental and technical skills to make the music sound more complex. That’s the biggest twist this album has that sets it apart from all the previous ones; this album is one of their more technical releases. And yes, I know that there are other songs from previous albums that are very fast and very technical; but as an album in its whole, Helvetios seems more complex, especially in the folk instruments. That’s another thing I forgot to mention! The folk instruments aren’t in the background anymore!! Instead, they’re either right beside the guitars or in the very front of the line next to the vocalist. And speaking of the vocals, Chrigel Glanzmann’s vocals have improved dramatically (and I thought he had reached perfection in Everything Remains…).

Those that own and enjoyed Everything Remains will recall, “Quoth the Raven”, where the female violinist Meri Tadic sang and even let out an ear-splitting scream? Well guess what, apparently the band liked that and decided to put her singing in most of the songs on Helvetios. If you want a text description of what her screams sound like, they sound a hell of a lot like Lacey from Flyleaf (whose screams are phenomenal). As far as individual songs go the title track and “Luxtos” are personal favorites, but all of the songs are amazing and I recommend fans of folk metal and the band check it out for themselves.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Crinn
October 22nd, 2012

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