Report: ELUVEITIE - Metal With An Ancient Feel

September 7, 2006, 12 years ago

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The Free Lance-Star (fredericksburg.com) has issued the following report from Sam Krieg:

To the casual observer, heavy metal may not seem like the most diverse genre of music. However, if one looks closer, there are nearly infinite numbers of sub-genres.

A trademark of one of those sub-genres is to incorporate ethnic instruments, dress and myth into metal. Switzerland's nine-member ELUVEITIE is a band that uses that style - in their case, Celtic instruments and the close-to-forgotten Helvetic Gaulish language.

These folk elements mix with a modern sound reminiscent of IN FLAMES or DARK TRANQUILITY on their debut full-length album, Spirit. Eluveitie's combination is a winning one, with their music alternately making listeners want to bang their heads and marvel at the beauty of the Celtic musical tradition.

Normally, it is very impressive if a band member can sing and play an instrument at the same time. Throughout this album, main vocalist Chrigel Glanzmann plays no less than five instruments, with the four backup singers bringing in an additional nine, mostly ethnic, instruments.

These combine with the more standard accompaniment of dual guitars, drums and bass. The older and modern styles get roughly equal levels of attention.

Glanzmann does not allow his homage to the ancients to be limited simply to instruments, however. Four of the album's 11 tracks are sung exclusively in Helvetic Gaulish, including the fist-pumping chants of 'Spirit' and the ethereal reciting of 'Aídu'.

In addition to its distinctive sound, this album also stands out visually. The album insert boasts impressive artwork by Travis Smith (also known for his OPETH and NEVERMORE album covers). To continue the Celtic theme, in accompanying photographs the band members themselves dress in the peasant clothing of years gone by.

Spirit shows how two unlikely elements can combine to make powerful music. At times, the listener feels compelled to run to battle. At other times one feels as if one were seated around a fire, listening to a tall tale.

This album does an amazing job of conveying a feeling of the ancient times that inspire the band.



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