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Album Review

Coming out of a shadow-draped, magical forest near you, Switzerland's Eluveitie follow in the boot-steps of genre-bending ensembles like Skyclad, Finntroll and Turisas, among others, who armed themselves with pagan themes and folk instrumentation in an attempt to push heavy metal toward unexpected new directions. 2008's Slania is only Eluveitie second full album (and first for Nuclear Blast), but its unlikely mixture of melodic death metal and authentic Celtic folk music already sounds remarkably accomplished, despite the seemingly vast stylistic gulf that separates their two chief sources of inspiration. Then again, Eluveitie rarely stick out their collective songwriting neck so recklessly as to tempt the falling axe of artificial inter-genre crossbreeding. Rather, the octet roots typical songs like "Primordial Breath," "Bloodstained Ground," and "Calling the Rain" in the reliable Gothenburg brand of frenetic, melodic death metal (think In Flames, At the Gates, and especially Dark Tranquillity), before infusing them with folk-flavored melodies performed on fiddles, flutes, pipes, and other such period instruments, instead of with lead guitars. Female vocals are brought into the picture for the memorable, mid-paced head-banger "Slanias Song," and the band does without metal entirely for evocative Celtic instrumentals like "Samon," "Anagantios," and "Giamonios"; but more adventurous listeners will likely still feel like Eluveitie play their cards a little too safely, compared to other proponents of folk metal. Be that as it may, though, it's also worth noting that the group never falls prey to the embarrassingly silly, sometimes awkward results that plague some of those more audacious bands. And, in the end, knowing when to say when is one of the qualities that makes Slania such a thoroughly consistent folk-metal album that may appeal to a broader cross-section of heavy metal fans.

Customer Reviews

Medieval Metal rocks Celtic tunes

OK, I am not a metal head. I haven't bought anything this heavy in decades, but....I am finding myself captivated and banging my head along with the rest of you. Coming at this as as fan of heavy Nordic (Garmarna, Hedningarna, Gate) Eluveitite is just one step further from what those band were doing a few years ago. You've got the hurdy gurdy, the fiddles, the gaita (old school bag pipes), the big drums and heavy guitars. The big difference is that those bands all had female vocals and Eluveitie has pretty harsh (to my un-metal ears) male vocals; sort of the death metal scream? Roll with it, man, you can barely understand it anyway, some of it's in Gaelic (I think.) Singer and idea guy Chringel Glanzmann has read up on his Celtic history; the songs are about waiting for battles to begin, longing for one's homeland, the cycle of the seasons, heroic stuff like that. There are bits and pieces of Celtic folk tunes buried in the big guitars, but all the tunes are cited as originals. Wish these guys (and's an 8 piece group) were playing my hometown this spring; their US tour with the Pagan Fest should blow the doors off.

This is metal folk music, NOT "folk metal"... AND IT'S AWESOME!!!!!

Instead of voicing an opinion, I thought I'd feed some facts about the band I know a lot of people ask and wonder. So here are some answers for those who have pondered: Knowing the band personaly, Eluveitie means "The Helvation" in a language known as "Etruscan". With the help of scientests (I kid you not) they have reinvented the ancient language known as "Gaulish" into how it might have possibly sounded. So what you hear is a scientific interpretation OF the Gaulish (with a few lyrics in English). "Slania" is the name found on a tomb stone in northern Swiss Alps that dated back about 2500 years of a young girl. A hurdygurdy is best described as a "mechanical violin" respectively. The strings are resonated by the rotation of a wheel with the same characteristics of a violinest's bow. The strings are depressed by method of keys (instead of bare fingers). All the lyrics are about ancient culture and way of life. They do not involve any politics nor religion (if interprated into your language). With every album, Eluveitie evolves in complexity, authenticity and uniqueness without "going off the deep end". Enjoy the music. This band is quite conciderably THE pioneers of the "folk metal" genre. I also recemmend the bands, Korpiklaani (meaning "The spirit of the woods" or "people of the woods" (FIN), Ensiferum (meaning "with sword" (FIN), Equalibrium (GBR), Primordial (IRE), and Cruachan (also IRE). (You think this is cool? Check out their newer album! Available now, and NEXT YEAR there will be a sequal!!! STAY TUNED!) ~Duck M.~ World Music Industry Activist


I'm not gonna waste your time here. Just know that this is an incredible work of art. This band is simply amazing.


Formed: Switzerland

Genre: Metal

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Swiss folk-metal band Eluveitie incorporate folk instrumentation such as hurdy-gurdy, flute, and pipes into an otherwise traditional death metal style, also adding a pagan element channeled through lyrics in the Gaulish language (a dead language in the Celtic family that predated Latin throughout Western Europe). The band is comprised of Chrigel Glanzmann (vocals), Ivo Henzi (guitar), Siméon Koch (guitar), Rafi Kirder (bass), Anna Murphy (hurdy-gurdy), Meri Tadic (violin), Sevan Kirder (whistles,...
Full Bio
Slania, Eluveitie
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Customer Ratings