Genre : Celtic Metal, Folk Metal, Melodic Death Metal
Label : Nuclear Blast
Melodic Death Metal or Symphonic Rock or whatever nomenclature you hand over to the genre, ‘Eluveitie’ is one band which has been able to stand out for its uniqueness and dare. Although metal haters freak out at the very mention of the word, Eluveitie is something each and every one of them should try out, simply because they have twisted the metal to a whole new incredible level. With lyrics often written in the extinct ‘Gaulish’ language, Eluveitie uses traditional instruments which has never gone along with metal, amidst strong guitar and harsh vocals. With favourites like ‘The Arcane Dominion’ and ‘Brictom’ to their credit, Eluveitie has now come out with ‘Helvetios’ and let us take an analytical approach on it rightaway.
|Meet The Enemy|
|A Rose For Epona|
Album Analysis : –
This is not a song, but as the name suggests, an introduction into the theme of the album, which is ‘A Helvetian perspective into the Gallic Wars’. It is a recording in a story-telling fashion and builds up the war ambience with the effective philosophical thoughts and crisp narration. Better listen and contemplate fast and be ready for the next one!
The title track, this one starts off with a build-up piece and much like many of their previous tracks, start off suddenly with the music which seems to be a total pandemonium for a few seconds. The vocals come to the forefront after a bit of delay, but that is just fine, since the instrumentals cover up more than effectively during the delay. The pieces where their trademark instrument(possibly, bagpipes) plays more or less solo, are literally epic!
This is a bit slower buildup than the previous one, but a more powerful one. Added to that, the instruments and the tune in itself are just so catchy and gripping. The same goes for the rendition and the major music in vocal format as chorus, rather than pure ‘growling’ as for many of their tracks. Possibly the best of the lot!
This is one where they match the style of the usual rock/metal bands to an extent. But, that retaliates on them, since they are known for their uniqueness of a perfect blend between pure metal and soothing euphony. That is not quite reflected here. In short, you can say that if you hear this track independently, you might not recognize this as Eluveitie.
Build ups are out the question entirely now. From the very first moment, instruments start in ingrained unison and take it forward with every bit of panache as is expected from Eluveitie. The excellent variations in the guitar work, along with the powerful and striking vocals present a great mix, which is worth your time.
As the name suggests, it gives the feeling of a complete barren land. It is a completely plain song, with basic instrumentals supporting the lugubrious vocals. The fact to mention specifically is the ‘flute’, which is a complete marvel in itself, wherever it comes in. Overall, it is plain, and you hardly catch hold of the meaning of the lyrics, but the mood presented by it is one to contemplate on.
Meet The Enemy
When it stands by itself, it is a good track in itself, with good guitar and harsh vocals. But, in comparison, the longevity of the track’s effect is pretty less, as there are better tracks in the album. But, the flute work in the latter half is a great piece to specifically mention about!
Named after Peter Pan’s own domain, this track hardly brings in any similarity with it as such. But, from a melodic metal point of view, the track is great, with the right mix of vigour and elegance maintained in the track. It goes a long way in gripping people to the track and it is kind of worth it.
A Rose for Epona
This is one of the smoother tracks of the album, and certainly one of the rare tracks, with entirely female vocals. That is what makes this stands out – the sheer brilliance of blending melody in a powerful voice with energy in instrumentals. Whatever Eluveitie stands for has been depicted in this track. Arguably, the best of the album!
That’s fast! The pace of the track is what instantly takes you on a wild ride. It is faster than most other tracks in the album and with the right, precise beats, you groove and ‘headbang’ automatically right from the very beginning. Melodic instrumentals and vocals mostly follow each other and hence, there is enough clarity for each, by which you can provide ample concentration.
Is it good? Yes. Does it feel different? Maybe not. After so much of ‘Eluveitie’, this one stands on the average edge, with almost the same layout, beats and proceeding as many previous tracks. Overall, nothing but normal, except for the narration in between the vocals, towards the middle of the song.
Perhaps this is the softest song as such, in the entire album. Flute is the star attraction in this track, with no vocals whatsoever. It is almost entirely dominated by it, and the sweetness of the entire track is a welcome relief from all the conundrum from the metal music. Maybe
one of the best in the album and worth it!
Much like ‘Havoc’, the pace of the track is pretty much faster than the usual tracks. The pause towards the middle of the track, for the violin to set in, is incredible, as is its continuity. The female vocals following it also create an eerie effect inside a commotion. Overall, a good track.
A female dominated track, this one is also a strong candidate to the best of the album. The rendition is highly commendable, as is the tune and the zeal in it. It presents a sort of difference from the usual and is catching and creative. It is completely great for a listen!
It is just a female narration with minimal background instrumentals. This might be the track signifying the end of the war, where a woman sends out a raven to inform about the news. There is nothing much to listen in this, as such, except for the background instrumentals, if you are interested.
Maybe the war hasn’t ended, because the heavy music pops right back in. It is a surprise, but the instrumentals do a good job in polishing that transition. That smoothness is appreciable and hence, is the major innate attraction of the track. It is a good track altogether.
It starts with the prologue – it should end with the epilogue. Like the prologue, it is a narration as well, to end the album on an optimistic note, with the first mention of the album name. Unlike the prologue, this is followed by a piece if short but great music, to end things on a bright note. Cleverly put.
Overall, too much of narration is one point to go negative about ‘Helvetios’. It does help the mood, but sometimes it just kills it. Repetitive nature is another issue, where the tracks get so similar in style beyond a point that you cannot tell the difference between two of them. However, there are mind-blowing, unique tracks in the album, which compensate for the drawbacks and with Eluveitie’s complied uniqueness standing out on the whole, ‘Helvetios’ would be a pretty decent choice.
Picks from the album :Luxtos, A Rose For Epona, Havoc, Hope, Alesia
Verdict : Pretty creative and catchy