Eluveitie - Everything Remains (As It Never Was) (Nuclear Blast/Riot)

Describing an album as "perfect" is pretty much par for the course in press releases but for once, they aren't far wrong
Release Date: 
19 Feb 2010 (All day)

Picture the scene: Irish folksters Clannad are sitting around enjoying a nice vegan meal of carrots and soil when suddenly the doorbell rings. It's only Andrea Ferro and Christina Scabbia from Lacuna Coil! They're welcomed into the fold and join in the merriment. Without warning, Children of Bodom kick the doors in and start beating the shit out of people with severed deer legs. Clannad put up a valiant fight but as soon as Behemoth arrive with broadswords, the massacre is complete.

This album is the soundtrack to that scene.

Opening with a calming soundscape that's difficult to describe as anything other than... gulp... beautiful, Everything Remains (As It Never Was) soon transforms into a veritable orgy of blast-beats and flutes.  

Eluveite's fourth full-length album is one of the most unique pieces I've listened to for months, perhaps years. The folk metal genre has been prevalent of late and has produced some big names and numerous sub-genres; the concept of this album is by no means unique but the execution is extraordinary.

This may have something to do with the who's who of music production twiddling the knobs; recorded by Tommy Vetterli (Coroner, Kreator), mixed by Colin Richardson (Machine Head, Slipknot, Behemoth) and mastered by John Davis (Led Zeppelin) it was going to have to be a fuck-up of epic proportions to make this album anything other than the dog's danglers.

One of the greatest things about Everything Remains... is you can listen to each and every song in three ways: focus on the folk, concentrate on the metal or let the two work together. Take the title track: furious drumming underlays tin whistles and hurdy-gurdys but in such a way that you can easily pay more attention to one instrument set depending on your mood, yet at the same time they mesh together perfectly. It's pure aural sex.

The Essence Of The Ashes carries on the theme of something you could listen to either at a traditional Scottish caleigh or a MMA fight. This song then melts seamlessley into the whistle and accoustic guitar-led instrumental Isara, which might sound fucking nauseating but in this instance it works immensley well. Then straight back into double-time, pit-swelling metal with Kingdom Come Undone.

There are no weak links in the ability of the individual musicians either and with an eight-strong line up, this is no mean feat. From exceptional blasting to simple rhythm section support, drummer Merlin Sutter is exquisite, the vocals of Chrigel Glanzmann and occasional complimentary vocal of Anna Murphy (who slips into a perfect Angela Gossow-like growl on Quoth The Ravenqueen) is stunning and the dual chugging of guitarists Sime Koch and Ivo Henzi is never anything other than spot on.

Faults are virtually non-existent on this album. Eluveitie, with the help of some big guns behind the scenes have delivered a true fucking belter and it's going to have to be an astounding year for this not to be in my top ten of 2010.

Everything Remains (As It Never Was) is out on February 19th through Nuclear Blast/Riot