Ah, the sound of bagpipes and whistles always make me daydream of the Highlands and […]
By Makis Kirkos
February 23, 2008
Eluveitie - Slania album cover

Ah, the sound of bagpipes and whistles always make me daydream of the Highlands and - surprise, surprise - put me in mood to watch Braveheart.  ELUVEITIE is being marketed as New Wave Of Folk Metal with melodic Death Metal passages and I am not going to disagree with this statement.  After all, it's hard for me to describe their music something different than melodic, folk Metal influenced by the Göthenburg sound every now and then.

Hailing from Switzerland, ELUVEITIE formed by Chrigel Glanzmann in winter 2002 as a mere studio-project, recording their first EP Vên in the summer of 2003. In 2004 they joined the Dutch record label Fear Dark Records and a year later they released their full length debut album Spirit.  Their melodic, Pagan/Viking sound caught the attention of Nuclear Blast and here we are today, listening to their second full-length album entitled Slania and being, for a lot of people out there, their breakthrough record from the European underground scene.

All right, to make a long story short...if you like Celtic inspired music with melodic Death Metal, having the typical Göthenburg sound passages, then you will appreciate this review. If you think bagpipes and Metal need to stay apart from each other, then just go read something different and don't lose your time here. Slania is a mix of bagpipes, whistles, and fiddles, alongside the standard Metal guitar, bass, drums and vocals you would expect in a melodic band with folk female vocals in combination with the Göthenburg type of male vocals. It may sound weird and you may think I have no idea of what I am talking about, but have a listen yourself and soon enough you will discover pagan sounds that you never knew that existed and can be so old and far, yet up-to-date.

What I really enjoy in ELUVEITIE is the fact that they employ traditional instruments and they add a further authentic touch with the use of Helvetic Gaulish lyrics. In general, Slania is a crusade of Gaulish mythology! I don't find attractive to comment each song in this album; I prefer to listen to it as a whole, in unity. The band somehow mixes guitar, drums and bass together with flutes, whistles, bagpipes, hurdy-gurdy, fiddles and bouzouki, with a unique, magical way. The atmosphere throughout the record is almost mysticism and secretive. Wonderful female voices, singing in ancient languages bring you in a place centuries ago and all you can do is just sit back, relax and enjoy the travel. Of course in times you bang your head as well, under the sounds of Death Metal growls. Of course all of these under the crystal clear, slick production that you can expect from any Nuclear Blast release.

Overall, Slania will please every fan in the Pagan/Viking/Folk Metal scene and hopefully will attract people from other genres as well. One thing is for sure: ELUVEITIE are really talented and they have mastered their craft. They belong in the elite, next to bands such as FINNTROLL, PRIMORDIAL, TURISAS, TYR, ENSIFERUM and more. Songs like Inis Mona, Elembinos, Anagantios, Slania's Song and Tarvos must be heard! Don't pass by this release, give it a fair listen and discover ancient worlds with a modern polish.

7 / 10


"Slania" Track-listing:

Primordial Breath
Inis Mona
Gray Sublime Archon
Bloodstained Ground
The Somber Lay
Slania's Song
Calling The Rain

Eluveitie Lineup:

Chrigel Glanzmann - Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Uilleann Pipes, Bodhran, Tin & Low Whistles

Ivo Henzi - Guitar

Simeon Koch - Guitar & Vocals

Kay Brem - Bass

Merlin Sutter - Drums

Meri Tadic - Fiddle & Vocals

Päde Kistler - Bagpipes, Whistles & Other Folk Instruments
Anna Murphy - Hurdy-Gurdy

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