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Eluveitie - Evocation I: The Arcane Dominion (CD)

Evocation I: The Arcane Dominion
by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos at 16 April 2009, 10:15 AM

ELUVEITIE was a stunning surprise from Switzerland that really boosted the Pagan Metal scene with the first two albums. Especially, with Slania the band received rave reviews and gained even more publicity on-stage with the energy fueled performances. So, after some lineup changes -that brought the twin brothers out of the band- ELUVEITIE try something quite different. Someone would expect that the band would try to continue in the same vein of Slania to take fully advantage of the induced publicity fuss around their name. In lieu of doing so, the band took a bold decision to release an almost (I will explain the term 'almost') acoustic concept album that will dive deep into the Gaulish tradition and mythology. The question is how the already pretty big fanbase will react to this decision? After all the Metal audience is not 'used' to this kind of changes. On the other hand the band was not a pure Metal one… Who knows?
After watching the very good video clip for Omnos I got the impression that the band would use more female vocals.Anna Murphy was 'upgraded' to a full time singer gently covering the Irish finishing touches. Ok, I know that female vocals kind of subtract some of the Metal feeling in music but you have to keep in mind here that the Pagan atmosphere is the main issue. Anna seems and sounds comfortable behind the mic and adds a new perspective in ELUVEITIE's musical signature. The natural following to this, is the backing up of Glanzmann from the extreme vocal lines that were there to justify the Black Metal elements found in the previous albums. The term 'acoustic' I used before applies to the extensive use of traditional instruments and a wide range of wind ones; bagpipes, flutes and whistles tell forgotten Gaulish stories and literally build Tolkien-like landscapes where you find some peace of mind. This peace goes away in The Cauldron Of Renascence or in the wonderful Omnos that drag you to dance in fiery mood having your eyes shut. Indeed my friends, the album totally succeeds as a concept one; it builds a solid Pagan atmosphere and thus making every track a story. But I believe that is fails as a Metal album since it will be difficult to digest from all who are not unversed in the secrets of the Pagan philosophy. The Swiss band really deserves some more credit for making a bold step like this that keeps a safe distance from the already successful path carved with Slania. This is what I like to call 'progressive' and not all that sophisticated crap that just make my headache worse.
Sound wise the album is a killer; despite the non-Metal sound all these difficult to pronounce instruments carry such power and feeling that is hard to find even in the 'meanest' guitar distortion pedal. Anyone who has been to a Pagan concert knows the energy that flows from the stage to the crowd and vise-versa. This music deals and handles all the human's native and sometime primitive instincts so the only thing you 'have' to do is let the energy carry you away. And then, you will feel the Pagan power in you! Crank the volume up and let the spirits guide you through…
PS: I have already ordered a vinyl copy of the album….


4 Star Rating

Sacrapos - At First Glance
A Girls Oath
The Arcane Dominion
Within the Grove
The Cauldron of Renascence
Carnutian Forest
Dessumiis Luge
Voveso In Mori
Ne Regv Na
Sacrapos - The Disparaging Last Gaze
Chrigel Glanzmann - Vocals, Guitar, Gaita
Meri Tadic - Fiddle, Vocals
Anna Murphy - Hurdygurdy, Vocals
Pade Kistler - Whistles, Bagpipe
Kay Brem - Bass Guitar
Ivo Henzi - Guitar
Simeon Koch - Guitar, Vocals
Merlin Sutter - Drums
Record Label: Nuclear Blast


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