Eluveitie ‘Evocation II – The Arcane Dominion’ – Album Review

         Today we are going onto the lighter side of a band whose known for doing some well executed metal, Eluveitie. A few years ago, they released an album called, Evocation I – The Arcane Dominion, which was based heavily on the past; songs were based on Gaulish texts that were between 1600 and 2100 years old. Most of the album was sung in the original language, because for one, the language when set to music is very “intense, and profound as they deeply ladle from the rich, figured, and mystical Gaulish language” (From the liner notes for the album), and for another thing, some sections cannot be translated accurately. They put out 3 albums since Evocation I, and now bring us Evocation II – Pantheon which will be available through Nuclear Blast on August 18th, 2017.  This album picks up where the first left off, but is based around the pantheon of the Celtic Gods, hence the title Pantheon. The titles of the songs are named after the Celtic Gods, and the language is in Gallic. I, personally, love music sung in foreign languages. While I have no knowledge of what is being said, it makes me feel the music more. I can lose myself within the sounds of instruments such as the hurdy gurdy, mandolin, mandola, fiddle, and an assortment of things that usually only pagan folk bands employ.

        Normally, I will tell you what songs stand out on an album, and discuss them a bit. Today I will not be doing that. This album, being as out of the ordinary for most fans, demands that we listen to it; while not concentrating on tracks that some Pagan reviewer said were the best. It is at times upbeat, at times delicate, and always full of a culture that existed so long ago that most people are blissfully unaware of its rich traditions, and heritage. My introduction to Eluveitie was not of their normal, metallic offerings, but was Evocation 1. I still enjoy this style the best, yet have gone back and realized that they also play some kick ass metal too. They have undergone a few lineup changes in recent years, but upon listening to this album you would never know it. The chemistry between them all is flawless, and the music really does speak volumes about how well they work together. My suggestion to you, readers, is that if you enjoy pagan folk, or just regular folk, music then this is an album that deserves a spot in your collection. I have a digital copy straight from Nuclear Blast, but will also be picking up a physical copy upon its release. I’m still old school, and like to have the huge CD collection, and Evocation II – Pantheon will have a place in that collection; hopefully in yours as well.

Tom Hanno

Chimera Magazine