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Eluveitie - Ategnatos

Eluveitie
Ategnatos
by Justin "Witty City' Wittenmeier at 01 April 2019, 4:43 AM

ELUVEITIE have always been hit for miss to me.  I really enjoyed about half of both 2008’s “Slania,” and 2014’s “Origins,” but haven’t paid much attention to them otherwise.  After I heard the excellent title track from their newest, and eighth full length, album “Ategnatos,” the band once again peaked my interests.

They probably don’t need an introduction but just in case there are any unaware readers: ELUVEITIE play Folk Metal, with a lot of Melodic Death influences.  As far as I’m concerned, their first two albums were basically IN FLAMES with folk instruments.  However, over the course of their career they have really found the balance to their sound.  “Ategnatos,” is the best representation so far of the band’s growth, an album that finds them really dialing down on the Metal side of their sound while also doubling efforts for their Folk half.  They last several members before this album’s recording but they haven’t lost any steps but rather returned with a renewed sense of purpose.

As previously stated, “ Ategnatos” is an excellent track and one hell of an opener.  It has a decent tempo and is pretty damn heavy for the band.  As always, lead vocalist Chrigel's Death growls/screams are in top form, full of gusto and searing energy.  New co-vocalist Fabienne appears in the song, mostly as back up vocals but does a fine performance and is a solid addition to the band and gets plenty of time to show off her soaring vocals in later tracks.

Deathwalker,” is one of the band’s best tracks to date, boosted up by a kick ass opening riff and some catchy but intricate folk melodies.   The middle portion of the song is especially hectic, Metal riffs and folk elements battling it out for supremacy but still managing to work in unison. The next track, “Black Water Dawn,” is another career highlight for the band.  This song focuses more on riffs than in the past and even has a kick ass guitar solo.  With this track, they show what they are capable of when they hit their stride. Fabienne's chorus is catchy as hell too and a big part of the song’s appeal.

Unfortunately, as with every album of theirs, this one suffers from some passing issues.  Three of the tracks are just interludes that amount to little more than filler.  I’m sure these little tracks mean something to the band but for the listener, they are just clutter.  They do make more sense when listening to the album straight thru but that is another challenge; with sixteen tracks this one is a chore to get all the way thru in one sitting. Even so, the album does manage to contain strong tracks all the way thru.  “Threefold Death,” has the two vocalists both getting a spotlight and the music finds lighter more playful, natural moments among the many Metal riffs; this is a track that shows off the dynamics of the band.

Breathe,” is a showcase for Fabienne's vocal power—she sings her ass off on this one and appears to already be at ease with the band because she displays a lot of confidence. “Rebirth,” contains speedy, brutal guitar work, both with the rhythm and lead.  This song is another that will go down among the band’s best work and if someone asked me what the band was all about, I would definitely let them hear this track. All in all, despite some pacing and a bit of bloat in the track list, this is easily ELUVEITIE’s best album to date.

Songwriting:8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Ategnatos
2. Ancus
3. Deathwalker
4. Black Water Dawn
5. A Cry In The Wilderness
6. The Raven Hill
7. The Silvern Glow
8. Ambiramus
9. Mine Is The Fury
10. The Slumber
11. Worship
12. Trinoxtion
13. Threefold Death
14. Breathe
15. Rebirth
16. Eclipse
Lineup:
Chrigel Glanzmann – Lead Vocals, Acoustic Guitars, Mandolin, Uilleann, Pipes, Gaita, Bodhran, Whistles, Harp
Kay Brem – Bass
Rafael Salzmann – Lead Guitars
Nicole Ansperger – Violin, Backing Vocals
Matteo Sisti – Bagpipes, Whistles, Acoustic Guitars, Mandolin
Alain Ackermann – Drums, Percussion
Jonas Wolf – Rhythm Guitars
Fabienne Erni – Vocals, Celtic Harp, Mandola
Michalina Malisz – Hurdy Gurdy
Record Label: Nuclear Blast Records
     


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