Eluveitie

Slania - 10 Years

Album Type:
Release Date:
16th November 2018
Record Label:
Nuclear Blast
Total Tracks:
19
Genre:
,
RATING: 

It was around a year after the release of Slania that I heard of Eluveitie. Around the same time when more and more folk metal bands came to play in America: Týr, Ensiferum, AlestormPrimordial, Turisas, Korpiklaani, Moonsorrow, Blackguard etc. Needless to say, my playlist was full. My minimalistic approach was that I had enough amazing folk metal bands in my arsenal and there was no need to go looking for more. And it happens to all listeners. There is always some band lost in the slew of other bands that we always hear about but never get around to paying attention to. I did catch a glimpse of Eluveitie‘s music, though, eventually. But some of what I heard didn’t influence me enough to go digging for more. As it turns out, the songs I listened to were from their release “Everything Remains as It Never Was“. Years later, I saw the band live in Royale Boston; I’ve never seen a metal band with that many members on stage before so I was amazed at how all the members managed to squeeze themselves in on that little stage. I remember complaining about how muddled the sound was when all the instruments played at once. Perhaps the sound engineers did a terrible job that night, who knows. Still, it was an interesting experience. I didn’t hear more of their music after that until last month when I discovered that they are releasing an anniversary edition of Slania. It was long overdue but this time I was ready to give them another try.

Now I have a better understanding of Eluveitie and the music they create. After listening to Slania I would say that it doesn’t come as a surprise why it’s what kick-started their break-through and brought them to the world stage. The decision whether to like this album or not is an easy one. It is simply great! The implementation of violins, bagpipes, hurdy-gurdy, harps, flutes and whistles etc. against the wall of a heavy distortion is a feat in itself. They make the band sound distinguishable and unique. I’m mostly for the heavier songs such as “Blood Stained Ground“, “The Somber Lay“, “Tarvos” and “Calling the Rain“, but of the mid-paced and “softer” songs I think “Slania’s Song” takes the cake; the song represents everything that makes the band who they are – the Gaulish language, the aggresive harsh vocals of Chrigel (vocals, composer, whistles, harp, mandola, bagpipes), the angelic female voice of Anna (vocals, hurdy-gurdy), the overall balancing act of every instrument wrapped up in the beautiful simplicity of the song, it’s all there.

Those more familiar and grown accustomed to the originals may disagree with me on this one, but as a new listener, I’d like to think that I’m less inclined to bias when listening to both versions of Slania. Though I can understand the sentimental reasons for not liking the revamped songs, this release sounds better than the 2008 version in my opinion. Some fans are already saying that it’s “over-produced like the new Fleshgod Apocalypse”, but for those die-hard fans, this edition is conveniently packed with a lot of extras that add up to 20 minutes. The album includes the demo versions of “Samon“, “Primordial Breath“, “Inis Mona“, “Bloodstained Ground” and “Tarvos” as well as a fascinating interview with Slania herself. So at least they have that to look forward to in case they are unhappy with this edition. A nostalgic die-hard fan or not, this album is a must get to re-experience the songs from a different perspective and then some.

Tracklist:

1 - Samon
2- Primordial Breath
3 - Inis Mona
4 - Grey Sublime Archon
5 - Anagantios
6 - Bloodstained Ground
7 - The Somber Lay
8 - Slania's Song
9 - Giamonios
10 - Tarvos
11 - Calling The Rain
12 - Elembivos
13 - Samon (Acoustic Verison) (bonus)
14 - Interview With Slania (bonus)
15 - Samon (Demo) (bonus)
16 - Primordial Breath (Demo) (bonus)
17 - Inis Mona (Demo) (bonus)
18 - Bloodstained Ground (Demo) (bonus)
19 - Tarvos (Demo) (bonus)

Playing Time:
Line-Up:

Jonas Wolf (guitars)
Matteo Sisti (whistles, bagpipes, mandola)
Nicole Ansperger (fiddle)
Alain Ackermann (drums)
Chrigel Glanzmann (vocals, whistles, mandola, bagpipes, bodhran)
Fabienne Erni (vocals, celtic harp, mandola)
Kay Brem (bass)
Michalina Malisz (hurdy-gurdy)
Rafael Salzmann (guitars)

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