The sun rises over the Swiss Alps and blesses the peaks with the first rays of its light. A faint fiddle echoes in the distance only to have the bagpipes compliment it. The anticipation builds in, and all fans from here know what to expect and it builds upon the anticipation more than ever. ‘Evocation: I’ (2009) finally has its sequel ready, and Eluveitie has done everything to make sure it doesn’t fall short.
Eluveitie are the juggernauts of the folk metal scene and their presence hasn’t slowed down ever since their Nuclear Blast debut ‘Slania’ (2008). The nine piece, headed by founder/frontman/vocalist Chrigel, has gone through quite a few complications with its lineup since their last album ‘Origins’ (2014), but have overcome all of them and made way for their second acoustic album.[metalwani_content_ad]
The departure of Merlin Sutter, Anna Murphy and Ivo Henzi caused the formation of Cellar Darling, to which Eluveitie responded by adding Jonas Wolf (guitars), Alain Ackermann (drums), Michalina Malisz (Hurdy Gurdy), and Fabienne Erni (vocals, Celtic harp, mandola) to their lineup. The planning of ‘Evocation: II’ began in late 2012 and had many people backing the research work across Europe, but how does the album measure up to its 2009 prequel?
The 18 track album is doused in the classic Celtic folklore the band is known for, and instrumentally, is a lot faster, melodic, and a more jive inducing, a sign that the album pays its respects to the folk aspect to the band in its entirety compared to most of the band’s work. Nicole Ansperger has proven her furious fiddle playing skills again, being introduced to us in ‘Origins’. The vocals, though written very selectively throughout the compositions, are remarkably well done (subtle understatement) by Erni note by note, with the natural undertone of her voice fitting exceptionally well in tracks like “Epona” and “Lvgvs”. Chrigel, though not having songs with him in the foreground, has himself scattered all over the album.
“Catvrix” has a very ritual inducing aura, and his textbook vocals fit into the chanting within the song better than ever. It almost feels as if his vocals are like wine, getting better with age. None the less, the album is exceptionally great work which will keep the fans satisfied until the next release, and will definitely bring in more fans for the band, who will maybe want something a little softer than metal, but don’t wish to compensate on pure musical creativity.
‘Evocation II: Pantheon’ is to be considered as a definite yes in being a spectacular sequel to the 2009 acoustic album. While it does lack the usual atmosphere of the band’s usual work, it acts as a proper example of the new lineup’s marvelous writing ability, and is a foundation into the new chapter of the band’s story. ‘Evocation II’ is out August 18th, through Nuclear Blast Records!