Frank D. : Late 2004 the Fear Dark-label released the EP 'Vên' of the Swiss group Eluveitie. Now I was the lucky Lord who had the honour to review that release and I was taken in by Celtic Viking metal. Anno 2006 the band is back with a full-length album called 'Spirit'. And I have to say: what a superb album!
For those who aren't familiar with Eluveitie: the band started out as a studio project, but soon developed into a real stage-act. The music can best be described as a mix of Cruachan, Korpiklaani, In Extremo and Thyrfing. In short; clawing pagan/viking metal grinded together with atmospheric folk elements and themes. If compared to the EP 'Vên' this new album sounds a lot more balanced and mature. The EP was pretty convincing, but left room for some improvement. This 'Spirit' hits bull's-eye. The band made a giant leap forward. Tracks like the rallying 'The Song Of Life', the aggressive 'Uìs Elveti' (which was also on the EP) and the epic 'Your Gaulish War' enter my 2006-fav-chart in the top 10. Even more, the whole album is hereby nominated for my "Best of 2006” list. The band obviously cast off their inhibitions and plays with an astonishing self-confidence a top-notch brand of pagan metal. The tracks are solid, the production is outstanding and even the artwork is of the highest standard (by Travis Smith who also did stuff for Opeth). No, band and label left nothing to chance on this one. And rightfully so, because whit this album under their belts Eluveitie is reaching for an international breakthrough.
Rapping things up: Eluveitie has entered the major league with this album. Now just keep our fingers crossed that the album finds its way to a large audience.