Home > Folk Metal > Eluveitie – It’s a Celtic Folk Death Metal World After All

Eluveitie – It’s a Celtic Folk Death Metal World After All

Eluveitie - "Everything Remains As It Never Was" (2010)

Eluveitie – “Everything Remains As It Never Was” (Nuclear Blast, 2010)

I am astounded continually by the diversity of heavy metal today.  The combinations and permutations of genres are endless and, quite frankly, mind blowing: Maldavian progressive death metal, anyone? Check out Nothnegal. Greek operatic metal? Chaostar. Israeli Oriental metal? Salem. Chilean doom metal? Mar De Grises. Bulgarian dark industrial metal? The Bleeding Light. And if you need a fix of Celtic folk music thrown together with some death metal from Switzerland? Try Eluveitie.

Yes, that’s right – I said Celtic folk metal from Switzerland. Regardless of how strange it sounds, though, Eluveitie‘s interest in Celtic-influenced culture and language is historically accurate. How did things Celtic arrive in Switzerland? The Gauls occupied a region encompassing present day France, Luxembourg, Belgium and Switzerland. They spoke Gaulish, an early dialect of Celtic. Gaul culture and language flourished in Gaulish territories from c. 450 B.C. until the time of Roman conquest by Julius Caesar around 50 B.C. Talk about yearning for the good old days – over 2,000 years ago! So it is a Celtic world after all, right?

Eluveitie appeared in 2002 as a side project of the band’s self-described “mastermind Chrigel Glanzmann.”* By 2004 Eluveitie became a “real band,” as opposed to a side project.  Since then the band has contained between 8 to 10 members who play everything from guitars, bass and drums to bagpipes, a hurdy gurdy, a violin, whistles as well as a barrage of other “folk” instruments.

“Everything Remains (As It Never Was)” is Eluveitie‘s fourth album. Let start with the cover of “Everything Remains,” shall we? It has everything a red-blooded Gaul male would want: A hot chick with long blonde hair wearing a cloak and animal pelts, a thatched roof hut, some deciduous trees, and snow-capped mountains as a majestic back drop.

What does it sound like? It sounds like exactly the way the band describes their sound like “Eluveitie‘s sound is authentic, traditional Celtic folk music combined in a unique way with modern styled melodic death metal.”* An interesting combination, right? Obviously the guitars, bass, drums and “Cookie Monster” vocals provide the Death Metal part of the equation during the verses of the songs.  The folk elements usually – but not always – pop up in the intros, choruses and the bridges.  Clean female vocals, which contrast sharply with the Death Metal-style vocals, also crop up in the same places that folk instruments appear.

This is my favorite song on the album. It is a good illustration of how the band melds its two different styles:

Eluveitie – “Everything Remains (As It Never Was)”


Here is another one:

Eluveitie – “Thousandfold”:


The production on this album is amazing. It is one of the best-recorded and best-mixed metal albums I’ve heard in ten years. The production team did a great job. Tommy Vetterli (Kreator, Coroner, a.o.) engineered and co-produced the album, Colin Richardson (Slipknot, Machine Head, Behemoth, Trivium, a.o.) mixed it and John Davis (U2, Led Zeppelin, Kaiser Chiefs, Arctic Monkeys, a.o.) for mastered “Everything Remains (As it Never Was).”*

Although I am just beginning to wade into the genre, “Everything Remains (As It Never Was)” is the best folk metal album I’ve heard so far. And the good news is Eluveitie is coming to Atlanta in February so I can see and hear how they bring these seemingly disparate elements together live. It should be a lot of fun.

*http://www.eluveitie.ch/en/ – accessed 12.4.10

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