After their last offering the pure folk album Evocation 1 – The Arcane Dominion, people were left to wonder if the band had run out of gas. With the release of Everything Remains As It Never Was they prove that the last outing was just a pit stop to refuel!
On the new album Eluveitie returns to form with their combination of folk and metal that is extremely habit forming especially with the growling of vocalist Chrigel Glanzmann. The assorted instruments used such as tin whistles, hurdy gurdy, bagpipes and mandola to name a few, lay a foundation of inspiring classical fork sounds from which the death metal growls and metal music erupt. Few bands do this as effectively as Eluveitie and especially when they are at the top of their game like on this new release.
Starting out with an eerie piece that would be right at home in the movie Braveheart, "Otherworld" is the intro to some very stirring music. As they segue this song into the title track "Everything Remains As It Never Was" contrasting musical styles overwhelm you with an abundance of sound that rushes through you in layer upon layer. With the heavy guitars mixed with the lightness of the whistles and the growling vocals counter balanced with the clean female vocals, you have the essence of Eluveitie and what makes them unique. Sure many bands fall in the same genre but there is only a few that can evoke the passion that Eluveitie does with their music.
As they rip through this disc with tin whistles and guitars blazing it makes me think of the movie Highlander and how the music of Queen only enhanced the experience. Songs like "Thousandfold", "The Essence Of The Ashes" and "Quoth The Raven" relish in their folk elements with the metal portion as the added element and then you have the other side of the coin with "Nil", "Kingdom Come Undone" and "Sempiternal Embers" which strike me as metal with the injection of folk. The difference is subtle and open to interpretation by the listener. Either way it is a really vibrant fusion of the two very different genres.
The instrumentals on the album are all medieval and totally rely on the instruments of the period. "Isara", "Setlon" and "The Liminal Passage" evoke a feeling for the ancient Celtic way of life. They are extremely satisfying period pieces but may put off the metalheads. Likewise, the very upbeat "Lugdunon" may have those seeking the heavy side of the band hitting the skip button but I think that this ray of sunshine through the darkness is a nice touch.
Fans of their past albums Spirit and Slania will instantly find this one to their liking. While they do not deviate from the proven formula too much on the new disc, what they do, they do so well it makes this one another very good album from the band. It is very enjoyable and a disc that will return to my player many, many times.
2. Everything Remains As It Never Was
5. The Essence Of Ashes
7. Kingdom Come Undone
8. Quoth The Raven
9. (do) Minion
11. Sempiternal Embers
13. The Liminal Passage