Archive for Eluveitie

Lacuna Coil and Eluveitie live in Tampere

Posted in Gig, Live, Metal with tags , , , , , on 15th December 2019 by izaforestspirit

Infected Rain, Lacuna Coil, Eluveitie
Pakkahuone, Tampere, Finland
14th December 2019

My last gig of 2019! Mid December; still over a week until the holidays start. This is the time of the year when most people are getting ready for the festive season. It is rare to find any decent gigs on at this point in the year. Sometimes you might get lucky though…As soon as I found out that Eluveitie were in town I decided to go. I’ve seen Eluveitie once before, oddly enough at the same venue four years ago. They have had some line-up changes since then and they released one of the best albums I have heard this year.

The show was sold out and the venue was so packed that they had opened up the next door venue, Klubi to create extra space.

First up was a Moldavian metalcore band called Infected Rain. I’m not the biggest fan of metalcore, but I have to admit that vocalist Elena Kataraga aka Lena Scissorhands did a good job of agitating the crowd. They even succeeded in getting a mosh-pit going towards the end of their show.

Then it was Lacuna Coil’s turn. I have never seen them live before. I used to listen to some Lacuna Coil when I was younger but I lost track of them over the years. I couldn’t really get into the newer material but I was happy to hear some of the older songs such as ‘Swamped’, ‘Heaven’s A Lie and their cover of ‘Enjoy The Silence’ live.

Then it was time for the headliners, Eluveitie. Once again they did not disappoint. There are not many folk metal bands out there who are capable of delivering a show this good. A flawless blend of celtic folk instruments, two very different singers with melodic death metal. They played lots of songs from their latest opus ‘Ategnatos’ including ‘Rebirth’ and one of my new favourites ‘The Slumber’ along with a Swiss language version of ‘Call of The Mountains’ and ‘Inis Mona’.

In summary I am glad that I decided to attend the show. I had a great time. I got to see Lacuna Coil live for the first time. Luckily the set included a few tracks which I recognized. Eluveitie were as good as they were the first time that I saw them live. It’s good to see that the line-up change has had a positive effect on the band and I hope that they will return to Finland soon.

Iza Raittila

Eluveitie – Ategnatos

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , on 12th May 2019 by izaforestspirit

Eluveitie
Ategnatos
Released 5th April 2019
Folk Metal/ Melodic Death Metal
Released via Nuclear Blast Records

Eluveitie - Ategnatos

Swiss folk metal outfit Eluveitie are back and this time they recorded a metal album. It’s been two years since their folk record ‘Evocation II – Pantheon’, an album which I enjoyed but it was pure folk music. What I like the most about this band are the contrasts that are prominent in their music. The melodic folk instruments and beautiful clean vocals versus the harsher melodeath guitars and their front-man Chrigel Glanzmann’s aggressive growling. The previous album had some great folk melodies but it lacked the harsh elements. Luckily this time all the things that I like are present on the album.

There are a lot of different styles present on this record. Within the space of an hour they have managed to pack in everything from catchy sounds of bagpipes, whistles, hurdy gurdy as well as other folk instruments. What is more, the stylistic variety ranges from Fabienne Erni’s angelic singing on tracks such as Ambiramus to the aggressive, borderline death metal tracks like Worship to fulfill the blend. Most of the time these two contrasting styles work surprisingly well together, co-existing peacefully and the end result doesn’t sound like a complete cacophony. The title track and The Raven Hill are good examples of how they are able to successfully maintain a delicate balance between folk music and melodic death metal in a way that only Eluveitie can master. I’m particularly fond of the chanting parts of The Raven Hill chorus. Mr. Glanzmann and Ms. Erni did a great job with that one.

I cannot get enough of The Slumber, the song that caught my attention when I saw the lyric video. It’s one of the slower songs on here and it has a certain gloomy feel to it. That eerie chorus has been stuck in my head for several days now. The only song that I couldn’t get into on this record is Worship. I honestly cannot comprehend what they were trying to achieve with this song. It’s basically an attempt at blackened death metal with some folk instruments and chanting added as a background noise. The vocals do not seem to work too well with the music and at times it doesn’t really sound like Eluveitie at all.

In summary, ‘Ategnatos’ has its flaws but despite this it is easily Eluveitie’s best work since ‘Slania’. I really enjoyed listening to it and I will definitely tune into this album again soon.

4/5
Iza Raittila

Eluveitie – Evocation II: Pantheon

Posted in CD, Folk with tags , , on 12th August 2017 by izaforestspirit

Eluveitie

Evocation II: Pantheon

Released 18th August 2017

Folk/Acoustic

Released via Nuclear Blast

Eluveitie - Evocation II: Pantheon

Swiss folk metallers Eluveitie are back with a new female singer and a new album. Now for those who have been following the band for some time, the name ‘Evocation’ will be familiar because the band has already released one album under that moniker back in 2009. What we have here is part two of that concept – ‘Evocation II: Pantheon’, which offers more acoustic folk tunes. So, for those who enjoyed the first ‘Evocation’ album, you’re in for a treat. If, like me, you prefer the more metal-oriented works such as ‘Slania’ then you might have a hard time adjusting to the lack of metal elements on here.

That’s not the only thing that makes this album stand out. Another feature I’ve noticed is the distinct lack of male vocals on here. As much I appreciate Fabienne Erni’s melodious vocal talents, I actually miss the dual vocal configuration with their frontman Chrigel Glanzmann’s harsh semi-growls providing a sharp contrast. Then again, that would make it more metal-sounding, which is clearly is not the aim here. No, this is definitely a folk album with tin whistles, acoustic guitars, bagpipes,harps etc. being the order of the day.

Epona caught my attention, as one of the catchiest songs on here. So catchy in fact that it makes you want to get up, dance and possibly even sing along. I honestly have no idea what the lyrics mean but that chorus has been stuck in my head for several days now! There’s quite a few purely instrumental tracks on here too, all bearing that distinctive Celtic feel to them due to the tin whistles and harps. Lvgvs sounds like Eluveitie’s rendition of the Breton drinking song ‘Son ar chistr’. And what a great job they did on it. Yet there’s more to ‘Evocation II’ than just drinking songs and catchy folk tunes; there are a few more sombre songs on here as well such as the Cernvnnos, and the beautiful Artio which really shows off Erni’s vocal talents. Then there is Cavtrix which includes some rather creepy-sounding war chants and drumming as if to mimic the eve of a battle. Last but not least I want mention Ogmios, which sounds like a new, re-lyricized acoustic version of one of the tracks from their earlier albums.

In summary, the clue is in the name – ‘Evocation II: Pantheon’ is a logical continuation of where the first ‘Evocation’ album left off. It’s all folk music with not even the slightest hint of metal. So if you enjoyed the first ‘Evocation’ album then you’re bound to like this. Personally I liked some of songs but after listening through to all eighteen tracks of acoustic folk, I really missed the sounds of an electric guitar and harsh growling. Good work Eluveitie! How about a metal album next time?

3.5/5

Iza Raittila

Cellar Darling – This Is The Sound

Posted in CD, Folk, Metal, Rock with tags , , on 25th June 2017 by mickbirchy

 

Cellar Darling

This Is The Sound

Folk rock, Folk metal

Released: 30 June 2017

via Nuclear Blast Records

OK, to address the elephant in the room. I was, and still am, not a fan of Eluveitie. Never got into their music like people said I should. So, I really don’t know much of the politics or behind the scenes of why Anna Murphy, Merlin Sutter and Ivo Henz decided to leave the band. Yet, that is the situation we’re in and now from those three, we now have, Cellar Darling. Their debut album is a pretty fun listen. I have to admit the sharp tones and the catchy melodies were enough to whet my appetite. Yet, when I listened more and more I found that this album has a lot to offer both in music and in the lyrics.

First off, to reiterate, This Is The Sound, sounds wonderful. The production is full of big guitars and, massive bass lines that get the blood pumping. All of the folk instrumentation sound great too. Weaving in and out so seamlessly. Everything on the album is designed to make the band seem a big a possible. So as you can imagine it’s quite an impactful album with every clash of the drums and every blast of the guitars feel larger than life.  Genuinely a good feeling to my ears when you hear a band like that. You can hear this from the first track  ‘Avalanche’. Anna Murphy’s vocals hit hard too. Her voice is powerful, but it’s not all power there are some dynamics here. The way her vocals alone manipulate the emotion, tension and intensity of the songs is a testament to her charisma as a front woman.

This album oozes with great riffs, beautiful atmosphere and infectious melodies. Yet, none of it feels overdone. It just flows very nicely and the band have great chemistry, everything just feels like it blends together really nicely. The harshness of the rock instruments provide the songs with a lot of weight. While the folk element complements the heavy sounds and really gives the music another layer. Again it never feels like it’s too much, it always has that nice balance so every element works off the other rather one. As a whole I’ve really like this album, it’s a nice pleasant listen.  I wouldn’t say it’s the most amazing thing in the world but it’s definitely been worth a listen or two.

4/5

Mick Birchall

Eluveitie and Turisas live in Tampere

Posted in Gig, Live, Metal, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on 6th December 2015 by izaforestspirit

Barren Earth, Eluveitie, Turisas
Pakkahuone, Tampere, Finland
5th December 

A stormy winter’s night in Tampere. It had been raining all day and there was some strong wind blowing as I headed down to the venue. I haven’t been to Pakkahuone for years… Last night was good occasion to venture out into the stormy weather for a chance to see some folk metal.

Ok… So the first band on wasn’t actually folk metal. The Icelanders Skálmöld had their show cancelled for some reason.  This meant that the first act was the Finnish progressive melodeath band Barren Earth. These guys reminded me of Opeth and just as with Opeth I couldn’t really get into their music. There was just too much of the experimental, progressive elements and not enough melodic death metal for my liking. 2/5

I’ve been meaning to check out Eluveitie for a long time. Turisas may have been the headliner but this was actually the show that I was looking forward to the most. Luckily for me, they didn’t disappoint. There’s something about folk metal that makes it sound great live. The combination of folk instruments such as flutes, hurdy gurdy, bag-pipes and fiddles with metal is so incredibly catchy that I reckon that even fans of mainstream music styles would enjoy it. Eluveitie also have a good stage presence and they really know how to agitate a crowd. The highlights for me were ‘Call of The Mountains’ and my personal favourite ‘Inis Mona’. 5/5

Folk metal, “battle metal” and even “party metal” or whatever you wish to call them, Turisas are a bit of a gimmick these days. I’ve seen them live once before, many years ago when they toured with Alestorm. Back then they were all about the warrior costumes, war-paint and they had an accordion player. Fast forward a few years and they still wear their war-paint; only now their singer has swapped his armour for a leather jacket and the accordion player is gone. Apart from that not much else has changed, their music is just as catchy and cheesy as it was the first time that I saw them. It’s the kind of stuff that sounds best once you’ve had a few drinks. Then you can truly start to enjoy their hit tracks such as ‘To Holmgard and Beyond’, ‘Battle Metal’ and the cover of ‘Rasputin’. 4/5

 

Overall it was a really enjoyable evening. I’m so glad that I finally got to see Eluveitie. Turisas were everything that I expected them to be. I’ve never been a massive fan but they always put on a great show. As for Skálmöld, hopefully I will get another opportunity to see them live at some point.

Iza Raittila

 

 

The Privateer – Monolith

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , on 13th December 2013 by izaforestspirit

The Privateer
Monolith
Released 15th November 2013
Power Metal/ Folk Metal
Released via Trollzorn Records

 photo Theprivateer-Monolith-Artwork_zps44ebaad4.jpg

‘Monolith’ is the second album from the pirate themed German power metal band The Privateer. It is the follow up to their debut The Tempest’ which was released in 2011.

After a short instrumental intro it’s straight on to the first full track; the folkish sounding, violin-infused ballad A sequel from a distant visit, which seems a world away from the usual pirate themed metal clichés such as Alestorm. Although this is still technically falling under the power metal banner, there’s a lot more depth to The Privateer than your standard “let’s all dress up as pirates, drink ourselves silly and wave some plastic swords in the air” -metal. For starters, violin is a prominent feature in their music, giving the songs a slight melancholic feel which is evident in tracks such as Ember Sea, a track packed with atmospheric elements mixed in with the guitars and catchy “epic” choruses.

There’s also a handful of faster, catchy and more upbeat songs on here such as the title track, which brings back some of the “fun” and energy that was missing earlier. The aforementioned track incorportates elements of Ensiferum (the chorus singing style) along with hints of both Eluveitie and Apocalyptica. They have even decided to add a German-language track Störtebeker, which reminds me of earlier works by Die Apokalyptischen Reiter for some reason. The lead vocals tend to vary slightly in style depending on the track, offering a somewhat unusual mixture of rock and melodeath-styled semi-growls.

Then it’s back to good old “epic” power metal for the remainder of the album with tracks like their namesake The Privateer, providing the obligatory pirate anthem complete with lyrics about “Jolly Rogers” and For what lurks in the storm, which features a female backing vocalist. The only exception is the melodic, acoustic instrumental The Tides, which highlights the skill of both the guitarist and the violin player. A pleasant addition but I’m not sure if it’s enough to make this album stand out.

Overall ‘Monolith’ reveals the ambitious nature of the band and their willingness to experiment with different genres. Mixing folk and power metal may be a bold move but it’s not an easy one to execute properly. Whilst I value the effort and applaud their skills as musicians, I think that The Privateer have bitten off more than they can chew with this release.

3.5/5

Iza Raittila

Knaat – Die Lichtung

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , on 10th October 2012 by izaforestspirit

Knaat
Die Lichtung
Released October 2012
Pagan Metal/ Folk Metal
Self-Released

‘Die Lichtung’ is the debut album from the German pagan metal band Knaat. According to their own statement, the band follows in the tradition of folk metal bands such as Equilibrium, Eluveitie, Korpiklaani and Ensiferum.

So after an ‘Intro’ akin to that of the opening credits to a battle scene in some epic movie, we enter folk metal territory with title track ‘Die Lichtung’ causing Knaat to sound like a Germany’s answer to Korpiklaani. It’s accordions galore with some equally catchy metal guitar riffs mixed in along with symphonic keyboards added for that “Ensiferum- twist”. However, it’s not all about the folk instruments, as ‘Unter Heiligen Hufen’ proves that these guys are also skilled guitarists offering some great solos to accompany the vocals and keyboards.

Then it’s time to hit the local tavern for some much needed refreshments as ‘Schenkentanz Intro’ and ‘Schenkentanz’ set the scene for a big feast with a catchy folk metal soundtrack to match. Yes, ‘Schenkentanz’ is one of those infectiously catchy tracks that will have you attempting some random polka dance moves whilst in the middle of a mosh-pit. ‘Sturm auf Windhelm’ features some flutes mixed in with the guitars creating a pleasant sounding blend of folk and metal. Another noteworthy tracks include: the accordion-laden ‘Spielmann’, which is the closest this band come to matching the speed and overall style of their fellow countrymen Equilibrium; and the final chapter of this release ‘Nordmannen’ offering more of the same catchy folk metal with some funny chanting towards end.

So if you’re a fan of Korpiklaani don’t let this album pass you by!

4/5

Iza Raittila