Eluveitie - Everything Remains As It Never Was
Nuclear Blast
Melodeath Folk Metal
13 songs (47:02)
Release year: 2010
Eluveitie, Nuclear Blast
Reviewed by Khelek

For those not familiar, Eluveitie has been a popular act at the forefront of the folk metal "revival" that has been taking place over the past 5 years or so. 2008's Slania was hailed by some as unmatched in terms of the band's ability to blend folk with melodic death metal. While the band did create something that was new and a very enjoyable listen, the album as a whole was not what I remembered, but only a few strong tracks. The band is quite talented in the folk genre by itself, demonstrated in their 2009 acoustic release, but they have had some difficultly blending the folk elements with metal in my opinion. This album shows the band growing in that area, yet still creating songs that are often hit or miss; boring and forgettable or very catchy and memorable.

The intro track Otherworld sets a calm atmosphere and brings in the folk elements of course, and makes me think that they will be a bigger part of this album than on Slania. The title track comes in next with crushing electric guitar riffs immediately accompanied by folk instruments. The chorus is very melodic and memorable, and the folk elements are strong and don't feel too much like they were just thrown in. The clean female vocals mix perfectly with the growls of Chrigel Glanzmann, and likewise the folk instruments provide a nice contrast to the heavy, driving riffs. The production, as on the previous record, gives the album a very big feel in the lower end, giving it that bass-heavy power that I really like. Thousandfold comes in next with the same basic song idea, heavy riffs accompanied by softer folk elements. There are no female vocals this time, which in my opinion gives the song a harder, more death metal feel. Nil just gives more of the same, not that exciting. The Essence Of Ashes starts out quick, then transitions to another, slower set of riffs that actually reminds me very much of the Dark Tranquillity song Hedon in the beginning of the verse, so much in fact that I would find it hard to believe that it could not have been influenced by that song. However, it does deviate from said song in plenty of ways and became one of my favorites from the album. So they borrowed a few classic riffs, it's ok in my book. The chorus is especially powerful in this song, slower and heavier and it makes me think of being on a ship in a stormy sea. This is followed by Isara, a nice acoustic track that starts out with a very serene atmosphere but builds in power and energy as the song progresses.

The second half of the album opens with the fast-paced Kingdom Come Undone. This is an example of the type of speed and skill with which Eluveitie can lay down a great metal track. I’m not sure if I’ve heard a more aggressive Eluveitie song than this. Both the drumming and guitar work is fantastic. Interestingly the song is almost completely devoid of folk elements and lacks female vocals. Quoth The Raven is a slower track that incorporates the excellent female vocals once again in the chorus, which is very well done and extremely heavy and memorable. This is a pretty simple song compared to others on the album, but it is done very well. The next track (Do)minion does the same basic thing, but adds a little more speed. Unfortunately it tends to get a bit monotonous. Sempiternal Embers again creates a very catchy atmosphere mostly thanks to pounding drums and extremely heavy riffs, but the folk elements in this song are not as well done; they tend to stick out instead of blend in. Last but not least I really, REALLY like the guitar solo in Lugundon, not because it's anything very special, but because it's a guitar solo and it fits. I wish this band would put more melodic guitar work like this in their music, it could really give their sound a boost in my opinion.

I would say this is Eluveitie's strongest album to date, but not much of a step forward from their previous work. While they have become somewhat better at blending in the folk elements, the songwriting is still quite simplistic for the most part. The lack (for the most part) of any really distinctive technical work with the guitars or drums is also a drawback. While I did enjoy this album, there are really only a handful of songs that I will keep coming back to, though there are definitely more memorable songs than on Slania. In the end if you enjoyed that album, you should expect to like this, but you will not be blown away.

Killing Songs :
Everything Remains As It Never Was, The Essence of Ashes, Kingdom Come Undone, Quoth The Raven
Khelek quoted 85 / 100
Elias quoted 75 / 100
Other albums by Eluveitie that we have reviewed:
Eluveitie - Helvetios reviewed by Leah and quoted 82 / 100
Eluveitie - Spirit reviewed by Elias and quoted 95 / 100
Eluveitie - Evocation I - The Arcane Dominion reviewed by Khelek and quoted 83 / 100
Eluveitie - Slania reviewed by James and quoted 84 / 100
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