Eluveitie
Slania

Arguably the most hyped folk metal band of recent memory, Switzerland’s Eluveitie, to coincide with the upcoming Paganfest tour have released their second full-length album on Nuclear Blast and while an entertaining album, Heidevolk’s upcoming Walhalla Wacht is a far superior release as is most of Napalm’s ‘real’ folk bands.

The problem is, despite the menagerie of musicians that help out on this album, (notably Chrigel Glanzmann of Folkearth), the end result is still a rather run-of-the-mill melodic death metal album heavily drenched in various Celtic/folk influences. Now that being said, Glanzmann’s tin whistle, as well as Anna Murphy’s hurdy-gurdy and Sevan Kirder’s Irish flute, do give the Dark Tranquillity/early In Flames-based riffage a very impressive, ethnic feel and do, in fact, make many of the songs much, much more creative and unique.

However, when you peel back the Celtic instrumentation or when it’s voluntarily limited, tracks like “Bloodstained Ground”, “Tarvos”, “Grey Sublime Archon” and “Calling the Rain”, the material becomes painfully close to being enjoyable but rather familiar, U.S.-sounding Swede-core. BUT, when the band is full-on, knee-deep on whistles, flutes and traditional Celtic structures, rather than simply using them as window dressing, the results are far better. Intros and interludes like “Samon”, “Anagantios” and “Giomonios” are sublimely organic, natural feeling Celtic injections while, full-on tracks like “Primal Breath”, “Iris Mona”, “The Somber Lay”, “Slania’s Song” and the somber “Elembivos” are far more enjoyable due to just less clichéd gait and pace and a mood and structure more befitting the Celtic themes.

Still though, with a robust production and plenty of above-average riffage and the added Celtic element Slania, much like Svartsot’s recent release becomes a decent (melo) death album, that might reel in curious and casual metal fans in with the folk side of things, but true folk fans will no doubt feel a tad disappointed.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
March 31st, 2008

Comments

  1. Commented by: Dan

    Whew. Glad SOMEBODY caught on to the Swede-core element. Seeing these guys get hyped by all these sites and magazines as the ‘new wave of folk-metal’ was really getting on my nerves. They non-folk parts of their music are veeery generic and really detract from what the band has to offer.


  2. Commented by: Jeremy

    I like this album.Not as much as Ven and Spirit,but it’s still a worthy follow-up to those two albums.I can totally hear the swedish influences,but I didn’t find that it detracted from the album’s folk influence.Admittedly they aren’t quite as folky as Korpiklanni,but they still do a good job at what they do.Long and short…Good album,but coulda been a tad heavier.


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