Eluveitie: Origins

Switzerland’s folk metallers reach a natural high

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‘He who has ears to hear, let him hear.’ Thus begins the enigmatic introduction to Eluveitie’s latest opus, Origins.

Against a backdrop of rainfall and sweeping violins, at first this feels like folk metal intro 101, but once the riotous, chaotic The Nameless kicks in it’s clear that there’s nothing contrived about this record. The strings are free and unrefined, holding their own against the guitars, and the Uilleann pipes sound haunting rather than saccharine, landing Eluveitie at the more sophisticated end of the spectrum with the likes of Wintersun. For those not into their Celtic mythology, Origins is still an album of beautifully crafted songs, with the rawness and energy of authentic folk and the heaviness of Gothenburg-style melodeath. That both these elements don’t sound forced together is impressive – the moments of intense darkness that burst out of the gorgeous melodies feel as natural as breathing. It’s a lengthy album that needs to be devoured whole, but The Call of The Mountains is powerful and pretty in equal measure, while Sucellos is exhilaratingly brutal. He who has ears to hear, let him hear this.

Via Nuclear Blast