The folk metal world was taken by surprise when ELUVEITIE announced their huge line-up change. It’s not the first time the group had a shuffle and welcomed new faces. However, they removed three vital members. With that said, they added six new members making it nearly an entirely new band (in a sense). This obviously made many curious to hear what 2017 ELUVEITIE would sound like. Following this news, the band revealed they will release their second acoustic album Evocation II: Pantheon on August 18 via Nuclear Blast Records. It is a continuation from 2009’s Evocation I and if you are expecting to hear metal, think again.
This new full-length LP has stripped almost all of their heavy elements and combined multi-instrumentations with naturalistic sounds instead. Additionally, the vocals are sung in the ancient Celtic language, Gaulish, and it is a first to feature vocalist Fabienne Erni who replaced long-timer Anna Murphy. Her vocals are indeed heard throughout most of the album, and as much as we miss Murphy, she has quite the talent.
Evocation II consists of eighteen tracks all named after Celtic Gods as each song is supposed to represent an individual storyline. However, a track such as their single “Epona” is the only one which showcases more of their metal style. At points the record seems repetitive or even a bit too long as it is lacking in variety. However, it’s a great listen while you are getting work done, relaxing or even going to sleep. It does, in fact, need a few additional listens before you get the idea from what these Swiss folk metallers attempted to conceptualize.
Despite the assortment of instrumentations, it’s more of an ambient piece. For those who were looking for a direct follow-up from 2014’s Origins, it seems we have to wait even longer, and the mystery of the new reformed ELUVEITIE remains.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Epona”
-ZENAE D. ZUKOWSKI