Genre- Melodic death/Folk
Label- Nuclear Blast
Location- Winterthur, Zurich, Switzerland
FFO- At The Gates, Agalloch, Korpiklanni
So let me start this review with by saying, wow is this produced well. The usage of all the different instruments is not an easy task. But each instrument is clearly heard. Nothing is drowned out. So this was not only a fun listen but an easy one. Musically, Eluveitie are one of the most consistent bands out there, even with the multiple line-up changes over the years. They have been able to nail this incredible sound and keep it going but also keeping it fresh. Even if you took away the Celtic instruments, this band is still one of the best melo-death bands on the planet. The guitars are fast and heavy.
Playing headbanging riffs that don’t stop. Really embracing that Gothenburg sound that so many bands have been successful with in the past. The drums are on pace and really bring the heavy. Melodic blasts, dare I say more? Vocals are handled primarily by band founder and front man Chrigel Glanzmann. A vocalist I have said on multiple occasions, is by far one of the my favorite metal vocalists ever. His mid rangy growls are impeccable. Terrifying if I might add. His vocals both on the record and in person are a giant kick in the teeth. He really brings the heavy.
But it’s the beautiful, yet haunting vocals of Fabienne Erni that not only compliment Chrigels but take center stage and really bring the bands signature sound home. She is able to lead songs herself with an incredible voice and give the band an extra edge. Speaking of an extra edge, did I mention this band not only implements a hurdy-gurdy but also a violin, tin whistle, a harp and times the bagpipes? Yeah we have some real musicians in Eluveitie. Each instrument is played beautifully and helps create this heavy and melodic sound. Gives the music the whole “lets dance” factor.
This is a typical Eluveitie record and it shows. It’s heavy as hell and also incredibly melodic. While adding this fun sound to it all. My biggest pet peeve when it comes to music is when every song sounds the same. I get it, it’s the sound that has made you popular and your comfortable with. This isn’t the case here by the way. I don’t know what this band does, but they are able to make music that not only sounds similar to their prior stuff but also making it stand out as different from their prior material.
Songs like “Deathwalker” and ‘Worship” prove that the band still has it when it comes to heavy. Can see some incredible pits when these tunes are played. While songs like “The Raven Hill” and “Ambiramus” that show off the whole Celtic folk sound. Very melodic and fun to listen to. “Breathe” is by far one of the best vocal performances on the record by Erni. This lady has some pipes.
This is one hell of an album from Eluveitie. 2019 has been a big year so far for metal and this record is a perfect example of why. Eluveitie prove that once again they are able to put out a damn near perfect album with “Ategnatos” and still stay fresh. The incredible mix of melo-death and Celtic folk is not an easy task and yet these guys do it album in and album out. Fans will praise this album. People who haven’t heard this band will want to binge their entire discography. It has the headbanging, and mosh aspects of metal. But also has this little twist that makes their sound one of the best in metal.
‘Ategnatos” will release April 5th on Nuclear Blast.
Rating- 9 out of 10
Strongest Song- “Ambiramus”