Written by: PP on 26/04/2012 01:30:32

Eluveitie has been a bit of a folk metal sensation in recent years, much to the dismay of our 'kvlt dad' metal writer EW. They are supposedly chopping away from the sacred altar of folk metal due to not being entirely pure in their folk metal approach, instead sounding like a melodic death metal / metalcore band who threw in some folk instrumentation on top for good measure. I for one commend this approach, as their fifth album "Helvetios" offers a thrilling combo of ripping lead melodies and atmospheric folk instrumentation that, at least to the untrained ear, sounds every bit as authentic and convincing as the other folk metal bands I've come across.

So basically, take your standard In Flames or Dark Tranquillity track with sublime twin guitar melodies, and slap on violins, flutes, bagpipes and other traditional instruments to arrive at Eluveitie's sound on "Helvetios". Granted, much hasn't changed from their past albums, save for the increased vocal presence of female member Anna Murphy, but the big money production and the crystal clear sharpness at which all instruments are presented against each other is at times beautiful, at times unnervingly good, which has lead many critics to label "Helvetios" arguably their finest album to date.

Forget the shrieks and growls of traditional folk metal groups, by the way, because Eluvitie aren't concerned about creating a brutal and obscure mix that stays true to the genre's forefathers. Instead, they modernize the sound with the -core inspiration that should draw in younger crowds. After all, how can you not like racing violins providing melancholic melody above tearing metalcore leads? There are certainly grounds for stating the obvious and calling songs like "Home" epic in every possible meaning of the word, but if it doesn't have you convinced, then you go regress back to the more folksy rhythms of, say, "Santonian Shores" or alternatively the pure melodeath of the title track of the album.

The bottom line is that "Helvetios" is a great album. If you call yourself a fan of Ensiferum, Equilibrium or Korpiklaani, yet claim that Eluveitie cannot compete on an equal level, then I think it's time to check for hearing loss. Because despite the lengthy interludes that drag down the album's rating somewhat, the melodeath inspired folk metal on "Helvetios" is world class.


Download: Helvetios, Home, Havoc
For the fans of: Ensiferum, Equilibrium, Korpiklaani, In Flames with folk influence
Listen: Facebook

Release date 10.02.2012
Nuclear Blast

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