Eluveitie – Origins (2014) – Review

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RockmusicRaider Review - Eluveitie - Origins - Album CoverGrrooowwwl!! Rrrummmbbllle!! Well, hell’s bells! A bunch of very talented people trying to destroy their music? Freight train gone astray? Drummer had too much energy drink? Fiddler out of control?? WTF!! But – to my own amusement – I do like it, harsh vocals and all. Origins from Eluveitie is good stuff, make no mistake. 

The album neatly follows in the footsteps of their former record Helvetios and boasts an aggressive freshness that makes you go back, for seconds. Kind of an addictive hate-love affair. But, same as everything this band does, it does take some getting used to.

Their tune definitely is an acquired taste, as one of my co-reviewers so artfully opined. And in all fairness, it is much more melodic than some of their counterparts. Meaning: Not hard enough for die-hard death metal fans. AND they do not even paint their faces blue or pour blood all over themselves to make a point.

The Swiss band Eluveitie try to mix Pagan Folk with some sort of Melodic Death Metal. And this has – I must admit – earned them some fame in the scene. They like to call their style Folk Metal. But no, I disagree. I am gonna call it something like Melodic Death Metal Folk. 

Listening to the texts on Origins, they seem to tell about old Helvetic and Celtic times, when Caesar ruled and the tribes did not. But then why are the various intros and outros in some sort of Swiss German tainted Scottish dialect? Good grief, folks! This just sounds terrible – like Braveheart on a friggin’ bad day. Next thing we know, you ARE going to paint your faces blue, yelling freedom at every occasion. This space should be used for some more refreshing music.

But back to Origins, the album. Skipping the intro (no doubt there…), the first song hits hard with The Nameless, taking the tune of the intro through it as a ‘fil rouge’. So at least some good came out of it the dire beginnings. I do like the powerful From Darkness and Celtos. Both very well structured and executed. Good job! 

The odd tune out is Call of the Mountains. You know, the one for the masses. This track sounds like something Faun would produce on one of their rockier days, were they to sing in English and continue in their new direction. Which is to say to move away from their former weirdo psychedelic tune making.

I take it Eluveitie produced this track to attract some mainstream listeners. Those tend to like a more melodic tune, not having it constantly disturbed by death grunts and harsh vocals. Beautifully interpreted by Anna Murphy, the song has a chance to climb the charts.

King reigns supreme on Origins. This track is definitely the centerpiece, melodic and harsh at the same time. Hot and cold, just the way I would expect it from this group of merry men and women. This track – I suspect – also has a potential to climb the charts further. And thus, also saw the light of day with the idea of the mainstream in mind. Albeit the track is limited by the interpretation, which might prove a fare too harsh already for this specific audience.

To conclude, Origins projects love and hate close together. You get the quality, dig the tune, yet things might be a bit too harsh for ye. Or then perhaps not.

The record is definitely better than Helvetios. But it nevertheless lacks quality on records like Everything Remains (as it never was).

Yet, the album powerfully projects the Eluveitie brand in all its glory. I debated a long time what rating to give to this band. But, whilst unconventional, this IS good work and demands its due credit.

[Editorial note: The review made it successfully onto the first ever Intermittent Best Of of the RockmusicRaider blog. Congrats!]


Record Rating: 8/10 | Label: Nuclear Blast Records | Web: Official Site

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