ELUVEITIE – Ategnatos
April 17, 2019, a month ago
A triumphant rebirth. Reintroducing themselves with their first proper metal in five years, Ategnatos fully unleashes the talents of fire-headed singer Fabienne Erni after her introduction with 2017’s acoustic album Evocation II – Pantheon. She’s the star of the show and has an incredibly captivating voice. This new platter sheds the past works and propels the Swiss folk metallers to a new beginning and one that I’m all in for.
This new album works in a conceptual way similar to that of Blind Guardian’s Nightfall In Middle Earth as it’s riddled with interludes that segue into one another, so a 12 second track like “Ancus” could be seen as an annoyance if you’re shuffling playlists, but it works well in the context of the record. Featuring some of their best rhythms and melodies, the opening title track sets the stage with the hurdy-gurdy Celtic soloing, while “The Raven Hill” is destined to become a live favorite with its fist-pumping gestures and is akin to the latest Leaves’ Eyes. Ategnatos possesses a kind, but somber atmosphere and the Swiss superstars did a wonderful job of dragging in the listener to get lost in the music. The chorus to “Black Water Dawn” is enough to successfully hypnotize someone to revel in the constant tempo and mood changes present throughout the course of this journey. The guitars play harmoniously with the various other instruments Eluveitie like to use like bagpipes, whistles, harp, and so on, but the most important aspect is the album is decidedly metal and doesn’t forget that. Whether they are triumphant, melancholic, or aggressive tones, the way the music melds together is memorable and begs for constant listening. Sitting at just over an hour, a few trimmings here and there would have been preferred, but Ategnatos is a big and bold statement declaring that folk metal is still alive and well and it certainly washes away the rotten stain left from the most recent Ensiferum album.