ELUVEITIE are something like the shooting stars of Folk Metal, with their fairly unique brand of Folk Death Metal and now after only two full-length albums they undertake a very ambitious two-album project called “Evocation I - The Arcane Dominion”, where they are going completely acoustic and I feel that this endeavour definitely has its risks, as many people think that a band should have established itself before something like that. One of the trademarks of ELUVEITIE’s regular sound is the harsh voice of fronter Chrigel Glanzmann and given the often very calm and tranquil character of the album, it was a good decision to step away from the mic, even though Acoustic Death may have its appeal as well, but that’s not something to discuss in this review.
Most of the songs tend to be on the quieter side, for good reason, but they still put some more upbeat tracks that will loosen up the atmosphere and give some sense of energy, which at times is needed. Most of the vocals are taken over by hurdy gurdy player Anna Murphy, with some male vocals to accentuate, and pretty much from the get go it is clear that “Evocation I” is not an album for every day or for high volume ingestion, at least for me. Several of the tracks are interludes or instrumentals and the regular songs also have a very own atmosphere that I need to be in the right mood for to connect with.
As mentioned, the more upbeat tracks are what stands out the most, such as “The Cauldron Of Renascence”, “Nata”, “Omnos”, “Slania (Folk Medley)” and instrumental “Memento” are my personal highlights, for different reasons. “The Cauldron Of Renascence” is faster than the rest, “Nata” is intense and has this somewhat primordial (no, not the band) feel to it, “Omnos” is the most complete song, the Folk medley has nice energy and “Memento” has a bagpipe as lead instrument, which I love. The rest is not just filler material, though, but…different, if you listen to the way that the Folk instruments are used, though, it always remains clear that this is ELUVEITIE and not a different band.
So…this is a very difficult review to write, simply because “Evocation I” is not your regular every day album, it is an experiment and overall I feel that it is a success, even though I feel that many fans of their normal sound may be somewhat disappointed. But that should not keep you from checking this out by any means!
(Online December 20, 2009)