Swiss band Eluveitie formed in 2002 with the intention of being in the vanguard of the New Wave Of Folk Metal and judging by the number of folk Metal bands around Europe these days it's a movement that has been a long term success.
These folk Metallers have released five studio albums to date varying from the fully acoustic 'Evocation 1: The Arcane Dominion' to the death Metal tinged 'Everything Remains As It Never Was'. 'Origins', their sixth title goes back to the style of their first major label release 'Slania' though, mixing the two styles with the accent more on the melody than the death Metal and to me is all the better for it.
There is a vague concept throughout the album's sixteen tracks regarding the Celtic mythology of ancient Gaul with a few spoken word sections to add atmosphere but overall this is really an album about the music.
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I think Eluveitie are at their best on the likes of 'Carry The Torch' which has the buzzing, driving, riffing guitars and pounding rhythms of Metal with Chrigel Glanzman's growling, attacking vocals but is still full of flutes and folk feel and one of their signature sounds, Anna Murphy's hurdygurdy. There are many, many folk Metal bands but few sound this distinctly different and when they add in the chanting chorus it all sounds just like the beer drinking music it's meant to be.
Much as I love that signature style on other songs here such as the impressive 'From Darkness' and the epic grandeur that is 'Virunus', in Anna Murphy the band have a real multi-talented artist. It's fantastic to get to hear her sharing vocals on 'Celtos' and especially taking the lead vocal slot on the sublime 'The Call Of The Mountains', a superbly executed melodic change of pace mid-album.
'The Silver Sister' shows them going closer to their death Metal influences but despite its' fast sections and heavy leanings still retains the melodic, folky edge which is the basis of this band and this album.
I was slightly disappointed by their last album 'Helvetios' which seemed to lack the melody and folk metal invention of 'Slania' but 'Origins' is a terrific return to form. If you want to hear what Eluveitie and even folk Metal in general is all about this album would be a pretty good place to start. An album to play air hurdygurdy to!
1. Origins 2:13
2. The Nameless 4:12
3. From Darkness 4:11
4. Celtos 3:57
5. Virunus 4:51
6. Nothing 0:57
7. The Call Of The Mountains 4:14
8. Sucellos 5:05
9. Inception 3:46
10. Vianna 3:36
11. The Silver Sister 4:15
12. King 4:33
13. The Day Of Strife 3:49
14. Ogmios 0:29
15. Carry The Torch 4:37
16. Eternity 2:34
Merlin Sutter | Drums
Anna Murphy | Hurdygurdy, Vocals, Flute
Rafael Salzmann | Guitar
Chrigel Glanzmann | Vocals, Mandola, etc.
Kay Brem | Bass
Nicole Ansperger | Fiddle
Ivo Henzi | Guitars
Patrick Kistler | Tin & Low Whistles, Bagpipe