Vera : Right after breakthrough album ’Slania’, Eluveitie suddenly surprised us in 2009 by coming up with an inventive acoustic folk project on ’Evocation I: The Arcane Dominion’. Back then they already announced a second part, but firstly the Swiss outfit released a couple of albums on which their metal roots reigned in addition to folk. Now, eight years later, they finally focused on creating ‘Evocation II’. Its subtitle is ‘Pantheon’, since every song is dedicated to a god or goddess of Celtic mythology.
It speaks for itself that the approach is the same: acoustic folk instruments prevail, the songs are rather short, mostly instrumental, but when vocals pop up, we mainly hear the fairy-like chants of Fabienne Erni. She takes over the torch of Anna Murphy with ardour; the least we can say is that it must have been a challenging mission. All lyrics are in ancient Gaulish. This album introduces a mainly new line-up. This unique collective now includes no less than nine musicians, with front man Chrigel Glanzmann obviously as moving spirit and leader. It is really admirable that Eluveitie, in despite of regular recruitment of new members, always remains having its signature sound. Of course this is due to the genuine passion and commitment from Glanzmann, who does the utmost to keep his dream of life on the rails. Even without electric instruments and heaviness, he evokes a wide range of emotions in the music. Melancholy might be an important ingredient, but some of the songs also feature rage, grimness or grief. Right here folk is not only the catalyst of cheerful folk bacchanalia or lightness, but every song shows deep draught involvement and research. Naturally songs like ‘Epona’ and ‘Lvgvs’ have that fetching catchiness which makes them proper singles, but also the ethnic ‘Catvrix’, ‘Ogmios’ (with the melody of ‘Inis Mona’ intertwined) and the captivating a capella statement ‘Artio’ deserve a special mention. By the way, you will be surprised by familiar melodies more than once, such as ‘Zeven Dagen Lang’ from Bots in ‘Lvgvs’ and ‘Scarborough Fair’ in ‘Antvmnos’.
You really have to absorb this album from start to finish and then you will experience a grandiose journey through other times and genuine places on this world and the one beyond, the ‘otherworld’ of the mystic gods. There is more between heaven and earth than you might surmise and this can truly be called a soundtrack of that. Magnificent!