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Album Reviews : Eluveitie – Everything Remains As It Never Was

By on February 3, 2010

2536995I’ve said to people time and time again; no band does folk metal better than Eluveitie. They’re one of the few that seamlessly blends the styles to create one sound. Their previous album, and first attempt at an all-acoustic album, fell flat on it’s merry ass. With the exception of a couple of tracks, ‘Evocation I’ was as bland as bland can be. It lacked that crucial punch that makes their music so effective; the blend of sounds, the light and dark, the brutal and jig-worthy. Thankfully the band have left ‘Evocation II’ on the wayside for now, and have launched back into the heavy stuff.

‘Everything Remains As It Never Was’ is Eluveitie back at their prime. Their simple but undoubtedly catchy melodic death metal base is there as expected, as are the flutes, whistles and hurdy-gurdy that make it special, dancing around the riffs and growls. What is surprising however, is that the album harks back to their debut full-length ‘Spirit’ in more than one instance, with a good balance of old and new. “Quoth The Raven” features both the infectious melodies and female chorus that really stood out on ‘Slania’, while also bringing back those more complex, epic sounding folk pieces that dominated ‘Spirit’.

“Thousandfold”, the first single off the album, is clearly written to be a single when put next to the other tracks here, and consequently is one of the least interesting. Intro track “Otherworld”, despite being less than 2 minutes long, is absolutely spectacular and really builds up some enormous expectations. “The Essence of the Ashes” has an -esque chorus that, once I’ve figured out the words, will be one that I can’t help but sing along to. But, after forty minutes of music that doesn’t really throw any curveballs, “Lugd?non” comes out of nowhere. It’s a hard one to describe, but is truly a standout piece in their catalogue. The flowing mid-paced flutes and combination of growls and female vocals create an intriguely sorrowful mood, but without feeling like a ballad.

Faults are few and far between. A handful of riff-only sections lack any punch or attitude whatsoever, and Chrigel’s vocals reach a tad too far into -core territory at times with yells that really just have less balls than his fuller growls.

Apart from those few sections, Eluveitie have returned to form with an album that is sure to feature in the best of 2010 lists amongst big folk-metal fans. 8/10

For fans of: Korpiklaani, Arkona, Folkearth, Ensiferum.

Band: Eluveitie
Album: Everything Remains As It Never Was
Year: 2010
Genre: Folk metal/Melodic death metal
Label: Nuclear Blast/Riot! Entertainment
Origin: Switzerland
myspace.com/eluveitie

Track listing:
1. Otherworld
2. Everything Remains As It Never Was
3. Thousandfold
4. Nil
5. The Essence Of The Ashes
6. Isara
7. Kingdom Come Undone
8. Quoth The Raven <- Reviewers choice
9. (Do)minion
10. Setlon
11. Sempiternal Embers
12. Lugd?non
13. The Liminal Passage

About

Mitch Booth is the owner, designer and grand overlord of Metal Obsession. In the few seconds of spare time he has outside of this site, he also hosts a metal radio show over on PBS 106.7fm in Melbourne (Australia) and organises shows under the name Untitled Touring. You should follow him on Twitter.