Eluveitie
Origins

After reviewing 2008s Slania, I never really went back to Switzerland’s folk metal act Eluveitie, I have not even heard 2012s Helvetios or 2010s Everything Remains or the band’s acoustic album, Evocation from 2009. I always thought the band was a bit over hyped and were simply Darkest Hour with a Hurdy Gurdy and a violin and with the emphasis on Swed-core style riffs over the actual folk element. 

However, a few years  and a few albums later, Origins, the band’s 6th album, has clicked with me as the band has delivered a fine album that conveys a much more elegant and authentic Celtic element to the melodic death metal back bone. The song’s deeper conceptual dives into Celtic mythology history and origins as well as a use of more choirs and orchestration seems to payoff as mastermind and founder Chrigel Glanzmann has found the sweet spot between folk and melodic death metal finally.

Now don’t get me wrong, Glanzmann’s formula is still pretty much the same as the previous albums. So if you, like me, thought the band were rather bland, that won’t change. But for me, on Origins the quality of the song writing has changed resulting in a more memorable and dynamic album. Littered with spoken words from wise old men and women and angelic young children, the lengthy 16 track, almost 1 hour album is full of great songs and moments. After the introductory title track, both “The Nameless” and “From Darkness” then” Inception” later ondeliver more memorable and galloping Hurdy gurdy laced energy than anything I can recall from any prior albums combined.

The catchy jaunt “Celtos” sees Hurdy Gurdy player Anna Murphy get in on the action vocally as she did on Evocation and that seems to be a point of emphasis through out Origins as she has more airtime, notably on the album’s standout, “Call of the Mountains”, a simple, effective ballad of sorts, “Vianna” and closer “Omnios”.

Now there is some fairly bland  but galloping energetic filler on Origins such as the album’s first single “King“, “The Silver Sister”, “The Day of Strife” or “Virunius”, but they are at least enjoyable and bounce along with folky, Celtic aplomb.  Everything on the album screams big budget, from the production and inlays, the promo shots of the band especially the limited edition 2 disc version , which as two nice looking, lavish videos for “King” and “Call of the Mountain”, an interview and handful of surprisingly good sounding live tracks.

I’m not ready to anoint Eluveitie  the kings of folk metal yet or even one of my favorite folk metal bands, but I’m liking this older, wiser iteration of the band that has finally caught my attention. Now the question is, can they keep it?

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
August 18th, 2014

Comments

  1. Commented by: jgibson

    To me this is Helvetios: Part II. It’s good, but not as good as Helvetios.


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