Nuclear Blast, 2010
Switzerland’s Eluveitie bill themselves as “the new wave of folk metal” and are back with their fourth album on Nuclear Blast. While some folk metal bands such as Ensiferum tend to downplay the folk elements of their music, Eluveitie is at the leading of bands that strive to completely integrate folk instruments with their metal. This dedication is admirable, but it serves to off up too many distractions from what a metal band should be. Sure, the bagpipes, flutes, and miscellaneous acoustic instruments add an interesting element to these gruff metal songs, but I can’t help but think that these songs would have more life if the extraneous instrumentation was stripped from the mix. People that embrace this current folk metal explosion will find a lot to like here, but skeptics like me won’t be enthralled. Special mention must, however, be given to the exceptional cover artwork which is both unique and conveys the sound of the album.
Eluveitie will be appearing at Station 4 in St. Paul on Sunday, April 18 as direct support to Amon Amarth. Additional support will come from Holy Grail.