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Eluveitie - Origin Award winner

by Daniel Fox at 07 July 2014, 6:14 PM

Waves of Folk have swept the metal scene since the release of ELUVEITIE's "Helvetios" in 2014, bands such as ARKONA, ELVENKING and PRIMORDIAL coming out with exceptionally strong releases. 2014 sees the band releasing "Origins", featuring new fiddle player Nicole, following the departure of Meri. It follows a similar path to "Helvetios", but appears to have improved on it in every single way, with bigger songs that are more complex, and more technical riffing in the (electric!) string department. Compared to previous efforts, the 'metal' and the 'folk' sections seem to truly share the stage, without one drowning out the other.

"The Nameless" is a breathtaking and invigorating endeavor, that evokes a huge sound through weaving of ever-proficient drumming (one of my all-time favorite aspects of this band), and complex folk instrument arrangements. The track soon develops down into a tight, molecular-edged grooves, courtesy of the Melo Death side of their roots. "Virunus" stands out as a track that, save for a very-much Celtic ending and the odd organic noodling of strings, is very much a strong piece of Melodic Death Metal. This time, the guitars bring forth a stronger melodic presence amongst the riffs, instead of letting the violin and flutes doing all of the singing. I realise Folk is their shtick, but I like to see their guitars show themselves once in a while.

"The Call of the Mountains" is "the Anna song" of this album; much like "A Rose for Epona", it is a powerful, mid-tempo piece that is dominated by her unique singing style, that masks yearning innocence with powerful, emotive belts that melts glaciers. The choruses send shivers and create goose bumps, and has a very strong WITHIN TEMPTATION vibe about it. Quite possibly my favorite track on the album, and one of my favorite ELUVEITIE tracks. "The Silver Sister" might be "Virunus" 2.0, with everything supercharged. A precarious build-up belies fast and technical flurry of riffs, ever powerful due in part to the band's monster drummer, and we see excellent riffs nocked and fired by the 3 axe men.

Judging this album as a whole is somewhat difficult; it may well be the best album the band has ever written, at least equal to "Slania", even though there is somewhat of an inescapable same-ness  through prolonged listening; it is 16 tracks long. Just let that sink in. For some, this may be too much, but after experiencing the beauty of the aforementioned pieces and the killer "King", at least for me, that will no longer matter.

4 Star Rating

1. Origins
2. The Nameless
3. From Darkness
4. Celtos
5. Virunus
6. Nothing
7. The Call of the Mountains
8. Sucellos
9. Inception
10. Vianna
11. The Silver Sister
12. King
13. The Day of Strife
14. Ogmios
15. Carry the Torch
16. Eternity
Merlin Sutter - Drums
Chrigel Glanzmann - Vocals, Mandola, Mandolin, Tin & Low Whistles, Bagpipes, Bodhràn
Anna Murphy - Hurdygurdy, Vocals, Flute
Nicole Ansperger - Fiddle
Ivo Henzi - Guitars
Rafael Salzmann - Guitars
Patrick Kistler – Tin, Low Whistles, Bagpipe
Kay Brem - Bass
Record Label: Nuclear Blast Records


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