Thursday, March 15, 2012

Eluveitie's "Helvetios" - The Rise of Anna Murphey

Eluveitie never cease to impress me with their special brand of folk metal. I love almost anything they put out. I even loved the acoustic album they put out. My opinion may be a little skewed just based on my love for this band but I honestly believe Helvetios is one of the best albums to come out this year so far. Even by Eluveitie's normally high standards this is a great album. I'm not say Everything Remains... was bad album but this album here is much, much better. The songs have much more of a "replay value" than that of their last album. Even the album's intro is a step out of the norm for the band. Normally their albums open with an instrumental folk piece, normally about 2 or 3 minutes long. This album, however opens with an epic spoken word, seamlessly flowing into the first track on the album. Almost like you're watching the opening credits and then the first battle scene of an epic medieval-themed movie. It sucks you into the album immediately.

Now, I call this the rise of Anna Murphey because she has a tremendous presence on the album. The first single from the album, "A Rose For Epona" was sung almost entirely by her. And allow me to say it's one of my favorite songs on the album. Her voice is definitely growing and it's just a super catchy rock song in the middle of the folk-metal madness that is the rest of the album. Now, that's not her only part, either. She has prominent parts in a few songs. Including my personal favorite song on the album (right now, subject to change) "Luxtos." As far as the straight metal songs go, that is easily the catchiest on the album. I don't know the language but I find myself struggling to sing along anyway while I'm blasting it going down the highway. Anna also shares the spotlight on the song "Alesia" in which her and Chirgal go back and forth on the vocals. Much the same way they did for "Slanias Song" from the album Slania.

If there was one thing I would change about the album, and really the band as a whole, it would be to ad a guitar solo once in a while. I mean, the flute solos are cool and all but I wanna see what the guitarists are capable of. As opposed to just adding riffage to the flute and bagpipe and various other folk instrument parts. Maybe even a compromise would be to have a duel solo. Where the flute or whathaveyou and the guitar go back and forth, battling almost. Or even have them mimic each other. These are just my ideas.

Anywho, I believe you have figured out my overall take on the album. It's a great album. You should buy it right now. Right now. Do it. Do it. Do it. You will thank me, I promise. And I will sit back and watch as Eluveitie continue to be one of the most interesting band in the metal landscape today.

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