Eluveitie: Slania

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Eluveitie: Slania
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Eluveitie: Slania
Folk Metal, Melodic Death Metal
Nuclear Blast Records
February 15th, 2008
Release length: 48:42
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One of the names you may hear a lot about lately in the folk metal style would be this band’s. Eluveitie‘s album Slania pretty much came out of nowhere and set a new standard for folk metal, as far as the meshing of styles goes. Blending folk with melodic death.

Basically, when you put this CD in, you may notice what is hopefully just a heavy influence to the band’s sound. One of the best ways to describe this album would be that Eluveitie sounds like current Dark Tranquillity with folk overtones, as well as a heavy dose of bagpipes instead of keyboards. This isn’t too much of a bad thing because the band pulls that sound off well. Just listen to the song “Gray Sublime Archon” or “Bloodstained Ground”, and, not only will you clearly see the aforementioned influenced, but you’ll easily be hooked by the catchy guitar riffs and well paced drums that go fluidly with the music and other folkish instruments within these songs, and the other tracks that comprise the release.

But not all the tracks on this album have that familiar sound to them. There are some songs on here that are more of a folk metal style then melodic death, and is when the band really shines. “Inis Mona” (which, intentially or not, is the word insomnia in anagram form) is a slower track that relies more on the atmospheric sound related to the folk stylings, and “Anagantios” is just a beautiful instrumental with flutes and bagpipes. And of course, you cannot forget to mention “Slanias Song” which is easily the best track off the release by it’s originality in comparison to the heavier tracks, the beautiful female vocals, and how insanely heavy the album gets around and during the chorus. One would complain that this song is not performed in English, but given the mood the song gives off, it’s definitely for the best.

If the band would sit down and compose more tracks like “Slanias Song” or “Inis Mona”, or at least try to put more of the feel that those songs have to the heavier tracks, instead of sounding like a carbon copy of Dark Tranquillity with bag pipes, then this band would really be one to raise the bar for folk metal in every instance. But for now, we have a very talented band with a damn good idea, but not quite as original as one would hope for. Maybe we’ll see more of that on future albums, but for now we’re left with one hell of a record with mediocre stains and plenty of promise. But don’t take all of that as a dismissal of this release, Slania is actually really good for what it is, and if you have been disapointed by Dark Tranquility‘s last album, then you may cling on to Eluveitie as their better replacement. It’s heavy, it’s catchy, well orchestrated musically, and deserves at least one spin at some point soon.

01. Samon – 1:49
02. Primordial Breath – 4:19
03. Inis Mona – 4:09
04. Gray Sublime Archon – 4:21
05. Anagantios – 3:25
06. Bloodstained Ground – 3:20
07. The Somber Lay – 4:00
08. Slania’s Song – 5:40
09. Giamonios – 1:23
10. Tarvos – 4:39
11. Calling The Rain – 5:06
12. Elembivos – 6:31
Initial Pressing Score: 5.5/10

Eluveitie
Eluveitie

Physical review copy of this release provided by personal funds.