01. Prologue
02. Helvetios
03. Luxtos
04. Home
05. Santonian Shores
06. Scorched Earth
07. Meet The Enemy
08. Neverland
09. A Rose For Epona
10. Havoc
11. The Uprising
12. Hope
13. The Siege
14. Alesia
15. Tullianum
16. Uxellodunon
17. Epilogue

Chrigel Glanzmann - vocals, mandola, whistles, acoustic guitar, gaita
Anna Murphy - hurdy gurdy, vocals
Siméon Koch - guitar, vocals
Ivo Henzi - guitar
Meri Tadic - fiddle, vocals
Merlin Sutter - drums
Kay Brem - bass
Patrick "Päde" Kistler - bagpipes, whistles, acoustic guitar

Spirit (2006)
Slania (2008)
Evocation I -The Arcane Dominion (2009)
Everything Remains (As it Never Was)(2010)

Alexander "Sandy" Morton - narrations


Released 10/2-2012
Reviewed 3/2-2012

nuclear blast

Swiss band Eluveitie stood for one of the real highlights of 2010 with their latest album Everything Remains (As it Never Was), so with regards to what was to be released this year one has to conclude that this new release by Eluveitie is one of the most interesting of the year. Their new album which is their fifth is named Helvetios and it is a conceptual album, with all that entails, reminiscing, dreaming and all of that. The album cover art is simple but still eye catching enough without being brilliant but its good enough to grab an interest. The label calls it raw, wild, anthemic, emotional and thrilling - the ultimate folk metal album it is said to be. One thing apparent when looking at the two releases of this band we now have gotten from Nuclear Blast is that grande words are used to describe their albums, last one was “the perfect album” and this one is “the ultimate folk metal album” no small shoes to fill for this band, that’s for certain.

When I reminisce of the sound of this album I mostly remember the symbiotic relationship between the gothenburg styled melodic death metal aggression and the folk music, I also remember the whistles and classical melodies the harmonise with the aggression of the distorted guitars and the raw growly vocals. There is female vocals and there is epic storytelling elements, there are spoken words for intro and in the end. There is variation through the seventeen songs and the almost one hour playing time makes it a rather long album seen to time played. Compared to the earlier epic from 2010 I would conclude that the production is somewhat better, the sound is better and it also seems slightly more coherent than the previous album. So, how would we say that it compares in quality then?

When I reminisce over this album I remember the high quality, the harmony between the extremes of extreme metal and folk music is impressive and brilliant. Fantastic is really the word that best describes how this album sounds, it is one album that keeps you thrilled and enthused during the whole duration. Sure there are some tracks at are just filling a role in the concept which might be perceived as uninteresting but even though I had no real interest in the concept while listening I wasn’t bothered by these, the spoken word intro might not be the best and most brilliant of things but it tells the concept and if you do not care about that you can start with track two which is the title track of the album.

When I reminisce of the album I mostly remember the songs Helvetios, Neverland and a Rose for Epona but it is all the songs that I remember. This album is fantastic, the songs are all great and the variation keeps the album interesting from start to finish. Also, whenever you feel that the album is beginning to loose your interest it changes character and once again catches your interest. It also catches you imagination, the stories told are fascinating and emotional it is an album that has everything a great album is supposed to have. So now with two amazing albums done in this decade, what is to stop Eluveitie from becoming a real force to reckon with.

As I reminisce of this year I mostly remember that it is early in the year still but it is not a very big thing to assume that this album, the best of the year so far, will be one of the best when the year is reminisced by me at the end. So, when I reminisce over this album I mostly remember the songs, the songs that made me forget the world around me for a little while.



Label: Nuclear Blast/Warner
Three similar bands: Cruachan/Elvenking/Korpiklaani
Rating: HHHHHHH (6/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm

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