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After the weak and unnecessary acoustic album "The Arcane Dominion", I was hopeful that Eluveitie would go back to the basics and create and album in the style of the very good "Slania". But instead of returning to the perfect mixture of melodic death metal and Celtic folk metal, the band did the same error as they did in "Spirit". They divided both genres and created a rather incoherent album that has no guiding line and is filled with interesting and atmospheric folk interludes and some average melodic death metal tracks. Only very few tracks create the right mixture that has been present on "Slania". After a first shock and disappointment I must admit that the album grew a little bit on me but it still doesn't has the skills and qualities of "Slania" or even "Spirit".
There are still two very good songs on this rather weak record with the very catchy "Thousandfold" that is pretty much in the vein of the band's previous hit "Inis Mona" and the harder "Lugdunon" that is underlined by many truly inspiring and beautiful folk melodies where the musicians improved their skills and proved that they have a feeling for the right and catchy melodies. The problem is that "Slania" had three times more great songs and one must also admit that the band copies the style and feeling of this album in those songs. In fact, Eluveitie deliver a weird mixture of "Ven", "Slania" and "The Arcane Dominion" in here.
Apart of the "Slania" style songs, there are some harder songs like the fast "Kingdom come undone" and the surprisingly weak title track "Everything remains as it never was" that has not even a pound of magic in its whole structure go to far in the band's admiration for the Gothenburg death metal scene and they almost sound then like "Dark Tranquility" or "In Flames" that would play some tracks that weren't good enough to make it on an original album of them.
While there is still a transition and connection between the harder and faceless tracks and the more accurate death folk tales the band decided to put some songs in the style of the last acoustic album on the record to satisfy all their fans. Those songs are mostly better than many of the faceless and repeating tracks from this last album and should have been included on it or on a forthcoming second part but those songs simply don't fit to the rest and create the mood of a complicated and incoherent compilation record where different bits and pieces from the last years would have been randomly mixed together.
The album seems overall faceless because it has too many facades. The album is surely diversified and entertaining but it's all too overwhelming and not very structured at the same time. This record makes me tired and is very difficult to listen to. It copies from the past albums of the band and feels like a directionless compilation. Maybe the band wanted to deliver too much too fast and should have taken a creative break to concentrate on its forces. They may have a big name right now but not a unique sound and style. The quantity has overruled the quality.
In the end, this album is a step down concerning the metal and folk fusion of the last attempts but nevertheless a progression concerning the last acoustic nonsense. That's why I feel a little bit divided and mitigated about this album. I feel tired of using my energy to listen this band permanently rise and fall. I hope that their needed break will bring some stability and quality to their sound and if that doesn't work with the next (metal) album I am done and will abandon the case of this band that I have known when they had released their best album and when they sounded fresh, unique and promising to me. Now, they have to reconstruct something and find a way out of the musical labyrinth in ruins. The title "Everything remains as it never was" perfectly fits to the style of this album. The next album might be decisive on many levels and they are better to not disappoint their fans again and concentrate a little bit more instead of stealing their fans' energy and testing their level of tolerance.
I doubt I've ever come across a band like Eluveitie, who rose to stardom almost completely overnight - becoming the muse of metalworker near and far. I don't know whether I should be thankful or scornful towards this, since Eluveitie are a band that just don't go anywhere anymore. They're taking the traits of most mainstream bands, and just going with what works; but most importantly, what sells.
They had a lot of success with Slania, being the talk of metalheads everywhere as "Dark Tranquility + Celtic Folk", but I can't really give much praise to this album since they just haven't gone anywhere. They've explored no new ground. The result is their weakest album yet.
We start with a trademark Eluveitie introduction, but just not as good and watered down. It wasn't really engaging and it didn't set the mood for an epic journey of an album, like Slania did with the fantastic "Samon". So then we're thrown into one of the highlights of the album, the title track of the album. It's a good and well written song, but it doesn't really live up to the previous great songs from Spirit and Slania. Something really irks me about this though, the absence of their native language. It was one of the things Eluveitie really had an advantage with, a fresh wind of authenticity. But now that that's gone, we're left with just the music as a good point. But then, the music is not as strong as Slania or Spirit.
Thousandfold is a highlight of this album, probably being the strongest written song on the album (aside the title track). But it’s still not to the level of some of the great songs from Slania (such as Calling the Rain and Slania's Song). The melodies in Thousandfold are rather good, but they’re a lot less memorable and catchy as the previous albums. This doesn’t stop it from being a good song, though.
From here it crashes and burns. The rest of the songs are either horrible or just plain mediocre (With the exception of the pure folk songs, such as Isara, which are excellent – Evocation I with actual complexity). A horrible one would be The Essence of Ashes, which is an unmemorable folk melody, vocals on top of guitars that sound like they’ve been hanging out a bit too much with Trivium. Lugdunon is another pretty horrible effort from Eluveitie, which is the last metal song on the album. But it almost sounds like they’re ending it with a whine rather than a roar, like how Elembivos ended Slania. It’s a very generic rhythm riff, slow drums, boring vocals, and cringe-worthy folk instruments. Not a fantastic way to end the album.
Not sure what to think of the vocals either. Chrigel’s low vocals are used a lot more now, and I don’t like this change. This is blatantly to appeal to the general death metal crowd, though I’m pleased that the female vocals are used a lot more in this album. Though again, this is probably so it has more appeal to those who are not used to death metal vocals.
Another issue is the production. Hiring professional producers that worked with the likes of Trivium and Slipknot certainly didn’t work in their favour, it sounds far too clean and soulless – it doesn’t have the metal crunch the previous albums did. The folk instruments sound a bit weak, losing the soul-stirring effect that folk songs can have (Hear Samon from Slania, then listen to The Luminal Passage.). It’s far too clean, and it loses its authenticity somewhat. Albums don’t need to be polished to have a good production.
Eluveitie need to re-explore what made them a success in the first place, they seem to have lost all general direction. Instead of progressing, they’ve just overcomplicated their formula. They went with what works, but they’ve put too much into it. Other than that, the songs are either too complicated or too weak to really stand up to the previous albums. Aside from a few pretty good songs, this is just an average melodic death metal album with folk thrown in. It’s a genuine step up from Evocation I, but let’s face it, that isn’t a difficult step to take. It’s time for Eluveitie to wake up, try something a bit new, and realize what got them to where they are now. They’re one of the biggest forces in folk metal, it’s time for them to prove it.
Originally written for http://www.spirit-of-metal.com
Ever since Korpiklaani released "Spirit of the Forest" I've been hooked on big band folk metal. Already being a fan of classic Scottish and Irish music I loved hearing Korpiklaani's beer swilling tunes put to distorted guitars and galloping drums, but longed for a folk metal group that could bring some anger to the genre. I believe that Eluveitie has finally mastered bringing extreme metal into folk metal with their release of "Everything Remains As It Never Was".
From the get-go this album pounds out the tunes with ferocity using a metalcore stylization to back up the magnificent folk music inspired melodies. I believe this ferocity is accomplished due to their continued use of shorter song arrangements, resulting in songs that are more poignant, and a more concerned effort to use their folk instruments throughout the song instead of saving them for long breaks. Every song on the album now feels like its point is driven home and ends just when you feel it should be complete. The “metal” in their brand of folk metal also stands out now. The guitars no longer just provide a distorted background rhythm to accompany the folk instrumentations and even if this was only accomplished by the guitarists just lifting their palms up to prevent muting then it worked. Yeah, some of the riffs sound the same, and that’s why this isn’t a 100% album, but the presentation is so much more ‘louder!’ sounding and the interspersed folk melodies make for much more interesting songs versus their previous arrangements of: metal verse + folk verse + metal verse etc…
The production is brilliant and really captures the fine equilibrium needed to present over eight instruments and voices at a time without losing a single note. There’s more atmosphere in the intros and interlude tracks, which are somewhat ‘filler’ in quality considering the core tunes of this album, but being that I am a fan of folk music I thoroughly enjoyed them and I appreciated that there were less of them on this release. Also, Christian’s vocals have improved greatly. He doesn’t sound forced like he did on “Spirit” and there is clean power to his growls now and any rasping he does sounds more organic and planned. The ladies also sound very good, as usual, and their formal singing lessons (see the albums DVD for interviews concerning this) have clearly paid off. Also, female growls are always an instant win when used properly m/
Overall, this album was a big step up for Eluveitie. Their metal might sound a bit ‘core’, but considering they are playing folk metal and not tech-death with flutes, it serves their sound well and kicks ass! Buy it!
Notable tracks: Everything Remains As It Never Was; Thousandfold; Quoth The Raven and (Do)minion
Oh look, another Eluveitie album. This is like their fifth album or something now, and to be honest it sounds like every other Eluveitie album. You could listen to the first three songs and get an idea of what the rest of the album will sound like. There's really no point in listening to half an hour of this senseless, baseless crap. If you’ve heard Vên, Spirit, or even Slania then you already know what Everything Remains as It Never Was sounds like. That’s just a gimmick title really, because Everything Remains as It Never Was sounds like every other Eluveitie album recorded. This is the same bare-bone crap they have been recording for almost ten years now.
For those of you who have not heard anything by Eluveitie, or know anything about Eluveitie you are lucky. Eluveitie play a watered down form of Gothenburg melodeath along with Celtic-y instruments in the background. It sounds like a bad combination right? Well, it is, and it’s also a boring combination. The Celtic instruments do not add anything to the actual music other than a few whistle or string instruments in the background that distract you from the weak songwriting. The songwriting just sucks completely. The songs all have the same sound to them, which make them all sound the same in the long run. The riffs are rehashed, and reused from previous Eluveitie songs. I always wondered how Eluveitie could release so many albums in such a short timeframe, but seeing how the riffs are reused album to album it makes more sense to me now. The riffs are not even that good to begin with. They’re just watered down melodeath with the occasional extreme metal influence ( i.e. metalcore sound).
The present metalcore influences bring out a more media marketed album, which Everything Remains as It Never Was is. For example, the vocals consist mostly or metalcore screams, sounding strained, and uninteresting. The choruses on the other hand, like the choruses in “Thousandfold” are sung in harsh vocals, and the choruses stay reminiscent with the poppy nature of metalcore. I do not mind catchy choruses, but the vocals in a chorus when it’s trying to be catchy shouldn’t be harsh and sound like screams. That’s why the choruses suck so much, not because they’re too catchy, but because the vocals kill them. It’s not just the choruses though; the vocals suck altogether with either the horrible performance by Glanzmann, or all the annoyingly worthless female vocals that make an appearance from time to time. There really is no point to have the female vocal parts. They do not fit in properly, and they do not sound that good either, so why have them in? “Quoth the Raven” has some of the most distorted, and irritating vocals on the entire album, and I mean enough to envy the deaf, really.
Eluveitie have evolved from a boring, uninteresting band, all the way to not only that, but to a horrible band that couldn’t write a song if their lives depended on it. Amazing I know. They do not have a single album worth hearing, and Everything Remains as It Never Was is another great example. There’s nothing else to say about any of this. This is just more of the watered down, mindless crap thats been released under the Eluveitie name for the past few years, and should be treated as such.
I, for one, have been enjoying Eluveitie's music for 6 or so years now and have not been disappointed in any release, and have made a point of owning all their albums, physical copies. I originally heard this album from a friend who had downloaded a poor quality version, which I listened to for awhile, and hated. Today, I finally got my hands on a copy of it in a local record store and popped it in right away....
I was blown away. I gave the album another chance and it feels a good bit like Slania with a bit more varied metal sound throughout. the folk aspect is strong as ever and the metal is a nice return to their original work, though I have high expectations for the next Evocation release. Eluveitie explores a lot musically, and I love it and give them kudos for doing so.
I've heard some people say that Eluveitie is just repeating itself but I highly dissagree. To some extent, they'll always have a distinctive sound, and the sound from Spirit and Slania, even Ven, shines through in this dark album. But there's the catch, the darkness. It adds a new aspect to the music of this album. Compared to their other releases, this album feels very dark and could possibly be considered a concept album, after reading through the lyrics, I think. These songs are heavy in the best ways, layered with beautiful folk melodies, heavy guitar work, and wonderful percussion, as per usual for this band.
The only song I could say diverts from the "heavy" feel of this album is Lugdunon, which has a much more upbeat feel. However, this song is still heavy and distinctively folk metal. The flute solo is absolutely stunning and the melodic guitars add something to the song that I've not heard in Eluveitie before this album. It adds a sort of delicacy to a heavy metal song; a gracefulness which has not been done by this group before. It's a wonderful metal ballad.
Songs like Everything Remains the Same as it Never Was, Thousandfold, Nil all flow together in sequence beautifully. Each one seems to hold aggression, passion, and musical ingenuity which build upon one another as you listen.
However, and I may be alone here, I feel as if the show stealer here is the song Quoth the Raven. Chrigel and Anna did an exquisite job putting this song together. It has a perfect beauty and the beast vocal mix, the verses are that perfect Eluveitie form of metal, as the chorus feels even better. The lyrics are beautiful, and the art behind this song, and album shows so well here.
The art and concept(s) behind this album may perhaps be my favorite ideas expressed in an Eluveitie album to date. The themes of tribal pride, losing one's culture to another, death, despair, etc have that gothic feel which is newer to Eluveitie's repertoire but are very, very welcome. Overall, this album is amazing, and I wouldn't have taken the time to say that everyone (even those who have dismissed this album as dull, bad, or otherwise) should I've it a shot. If you liked anything by Eluveitie before, I don't understand how this album can disappoint you.
It's been a little over a month since Eluveitie’s album ‘Everything Remains (As It Never Was)’ has been released, and for all the piss and vinegar we were before the album dropped, we have been relatively quiet since. Don't mistake this as us tucking our tails in for hyping up an unworthy album--‘Everything Remains...' is worth the hype. Instead, I have taken this time to really acquaint myself with the record. Often with Eluveitie, the sum is greater than the whole of all its parts and some extra time is needed to soak in the (insert French accent here) ambiance. Let me stop myself here before I start to sound like the guy sipping Miller High Life in overalls at a film festival and get on with the review.
‘Everything Remains...’ starts as many folkish records do, with a short spoken word and bagpiped intro (‘Otherworld’) reminiscent of a little-known gem of a soundtrack called ‘More Music From Braveheart’. From that point, you are immediately thrown into the title track of the album, an equally heavy on folk and metal tune where it becomes clear the band has found the perfect balance between Chrigel Glanzmann’s harsh vocals and Anna Murphy’s distinctive clean ones. I am usually annoyed by (with the exception of a few) female vocals in metal, (sorry feminist movement) but Eluveitie falls with grace into the category of non-annoyance. The next track on the album is sure to be a crowd favorite, ‘Thousandfold’. It already has a video and was one of the first tracks anyone heard off of ‘Everything...’. ‘Thousandfold’ plays like a Gothenburg-esque anthem with a perfect melody and balance of traditional instruments and pure, powerful melodic-death.
The track ‘Nil’ appears next on the record, and while it's a great track, it just sort of blended in for me, not offering anything too outstanding. It will, however, remind listeners of Eluveite’s great ‘Slania’- era work. After ‘Nil’, ‘The Essence of Ashes’ takes hold of your attention as the track that almost defines the bands statement that this album would be ‘'more metal and also more folk’. An instrumental track ‘Isara’, rounds out this first half of the album splendidly with a beautiful flute melody and minimal acoustic guitar plucking. The drums coming in around the halfway mark offer modern sensibilities to an otherwise folkish track.
‘Kingdom Come Undone’ starts the second half of the album with a huge bang. We again hear elements of Gothenburg-era melodic death and traditional instruments, setting this band far apart from the rest of the ‘folk-metal pack’ but it still offers an air of familiarity that doesn't go unappreciated. ‘Quoth The Raven’ follows ‘Kingdom..’ in chronology and formula, except for the addition of Anna Murphy’s vocals, only this time less well executed. I have heard a lot of people name this track as one of their favorites on the album. For me, however, it fell by the wayside, much like the earlier track ‘Nil’ (also being named by many as a stand out track). One point on ‘Quoth...’ that did stand out, despite my reluctance about the track, was a small section near the end where you hear Murphy use harsh vocals that made me shiver with absolute delight.
‘(Do)Minion’, the next track, comes and goes without much fanfare, but is immediately followed by another grand instrumental track, ‘Setlon’. Much has been said during this review in regards to Murphy’s stand out performance on the album, but I have thus far neglected the other members of this band without whom this colossal record would not be possible. Multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Glanzmann has stepped up--not only his vocal prowess on this record, but the accented instruments he plays. Drums (Sutter), guitars (Koch, Henzi), violin (Tadic), bagpipes and whistles (Kistler) are all expertly executed in their own right, not to mention the plethora of other instruments and vocals performed by session musicians.
The final three tracks (depending on what version of the album you have), ‘Semptiternal Embers’, ‘Lugd’non’ and ‘The Liminal Passage’ are evidence, yet again, of Eluveite’s “monkey-touch-monolith’ moment. My favorite of the three is ‘Lugd’non’ which has an almost signing-off vibe to it: haunting and alternately upbeat in one fierce swoop. The final track solidifies this feeling for the end of the album, but if you’re like me, it will probably leave you wanting to start the disc again for another round.
In all, Eluveitie has created in ‘Everything Remains (As It Never Was)' an album with force and longevity. I have no trepidation whatsoever in calling it what it is: a masterpiece. In the first month alone, Eluveitie has outsold Dark Tranquillity’s highly anticipated ‘We Are The Void’--perhaps etching their place as crown holders, not only in the folk metal kingdom, but perhaps all of melodic death metal
I had very high hopes for this album. After releasing what I considered to be one of the best albums of 2008 (in fact it was #2 on my ranking of albums that year), my expectations were very high for this follow-up. The band teased us when they released a completely folk album in 2009, an album I did not check out. This was their return to their normal sound. Unfortunately, I came away disappointed upon hearing this. The band did not take a step back, let me make that clear. This is still an enjoyable album. It's just that they didn't take a step forward either.
Bands who release the same album time after time after time, often are difficult to have very strong feelings about one way or the other. Slayer and Six Feet Under are two such bands, and while I consider Slayer to be a great band, their material after Seasons in the Abyss is not nearly as high-quality. Essentially, Eluveitie released Slania again this year. And that's a disappointment because I already love Slania. Having another Slania diminishes my love of the first Slania and I do not want that to be the case. I wanted something more, or at the worst something worse so that I can say "Eluveitie may not be a good band, but that Slania was amazing". I just did not want something exactly like Slania.
Despite all that, this is still a very solid release. It is still a combination of Gothenburg-styled melodic death metal mixed with Celtic folk elements, including some very traditional Celtic instruments. Eluveitie members play the fiddle, bagpipes, tin and low whistles, mandola, flute, and hurdy-gurdy. These traditional instruments are often played along with the melodic death guitar riffs, adding a full Celtic feel to the entire song. There are still moments when the metal is the only sound heard, but the other instruments occupy a larger role overall this time around.
There are two vocalists in the band. One male providing mostly rough vocals which are not full-on death metal growls, but are definitely not clean either. There is also a female vocalist who shines through every once in awhile. She has a very pretty voice which lightens things up when she sings.
The riffs draw a lot of inspiration from the Gothenburg scene as mentioned earlier. Mostly, they sound a lot like Dark Tranquillity. Unfortunately, if the band were to strip away the folk elements, this band would just be a Gothenburg copycat, on this album anyway. It is the folk elements that help this band stand out. That's what makes this band different. Unfortunately, if they do not improve, the folk elements will not be enough to ensure them of a long career.
All of this sounds like I am very down on the album. It's true that I'm disappointed that it's virtually the same album. Hell the lead-in "Isara" to "Kingdom Come Undone" sounds exactly like "Anagantios" leading into "Bloodstained Ground". However, this is a decent release. It just will not make my Top 10 again this year. And that's disappointing.
Folk metal isn’t a trend for me; it’s a wonderful thing, a union of two great types of music, and a celebration of one’s heritage. There are some bands that just jump on the bandwagon because it looks like it will take them in a good direction. Eluveitie aren’t one of these bands, in fact they’re more like one of the horses pulling the wagon. Their first album, ‘Spirit,’ was an epic achievement and it can be hard to compare to that if just for the pure novelty associated with it. It’s easier to compare ‘Everything Remains’ to their second album, ‘Slania’ with it’s crisp shredding and tight hooks harkening to the Gothenburg death metal sound, adorned with a healthy dose of articulate folk instruments including violin, pipes, flutes, and hurdy-gurdy.
The folk instruments contribute to the Swiss Celtic sound that does homage to their Helvetii heritage, an atmosphere that is also aided by the inclusion of clean female vocals and the occasional chanted verse. The folk and acoustic melodies, mixed together with crunchy riffs and harsh vocals, is a tasty concoction. There are also a few pure folk songs, these being the intro, Otherworld (which is more of an ambience piece that leads you into the album), Isara and Setlon (Setlon is fucking amazing by the way) are fairly fast folk pieces with drums and bass (but no vocals or heavy guitars), and the last song, The Liminal Passage, is mainly a pipe piece with some other instruments also appearing at the right moments. The style of the rest of the songs you’ll be familiar with if you’ve heard their first two albums. They pretty much picked up where ‘Slania’ left off. I have no problem with this as I thoroughly enjoyed ‘Slania’ so ‘Everything Remains’ gives me more material of the same vein to enjoy. The folky breakdowns that occur around middle of the songs can still make me get up and whip out an involuntarily-induced head-banging session, no problem.
There’s a lot of solid material on this album, but at the same time you get the slight feeling that this album is missing something that was on their previous ones. It’s not really distracting, but it’s there. Maybe it’s the mainstream-style mixing that’s throwing me off, maybe it’s the absence of the Kirder brothers (I saw Eluveitie live in 2008, they gave a wicked performance, stole the show at Paganfest 08 and the Kirder bros definitely helped contribute to that. It’s too bad they left the band). That being said, there’s still a lot of solid material on this album. My favourite songs here are probably Nil, Lugdunon, The Essence of the Ashes, and Setlon. As it were, I’ve been cheering for Eluveitie since the beginning. I was excited when they got picked up by a big label (even though this would inevitably take its toll on the organic sound quality they had with ‘Spirit’). I appreciate the music they have made thus far and I support the decisions they make as artists of their craft. I came to this album with a positive mindset and I wasn’t disappointed.
Back when I heard "Inis Mona" the first time, I fell in love. The song seemed a perfect fusion of melodic death metal and celtic folk music. Eluveitie stormed to the top 5 on my favorite bands practically in the blink of an eye, because Slania, and as I found out later, especially Spirit, were extraordinary albums that blended very distinct metal and folk elements together not seamlessly, but in a fresh, interesting way.
The acoustic album in between was good in its own genre, but now Eluveitie are back to metal with "Everything Remains as It Never Was", an album I anticipated very eagerly. And what a disappointment it is. The freshness is gone, everything sounds old and bland. The album is not without merit though. The band plays as well as they always did. The production is good. Hell, even the cover art is first class. The problem is with the songs. They sound too familiar. It was not once or twice during listening to the album that I found myself thinking "Wait, haven't I heard this hurdy gurdy melody before?"
Now, many folk metal bands don't change that much at the core, they only go further into the direction they've chosen, mixing together the sub genre of metal and the folk music of the nation of their choice. Some bands succeed in this subtle change and manage to sound fresh album after album. Sadly, it seems Eluveitie is not one of these bands. "Everything Remains as It Never Was" is basically a watered out version of the debut album "Spirit".
As a debut album of a new band, in a world where Eluveitie didn't exist, it would receive a much higher rating from me, and I'd start expecting more from the band that released it. In this situation, the album is a huge disappointment, no way around it. If you already have "Spirit" and "Slania", you seriously have no reason to purchase this pile of mediocrity.
Eventually, most of the more straightforward "folk" metal bands remember what they really are. Ensiferum were pretty much heroic power metal with folky bits, Finntroll embraced their blackened inner selves, and Korpiklaani ...honestly I have no idea what fucking Korpiklaani are supposed to be, some sort of album-vomiting machine I think. Anyway, turns out Eluveitie were a melodic death metal band all along, and with their third proper full-length they fall prey to the foibles of that genre with mechanical, repetitive riffs, poor structuring and over-reliance on poorly integrated clean vocals.
The guitars aren't too bad, and tracks like 'Nil' and 'Kingdom Come Undone' abound with frantic, piling melodic riffs. I don't listen to flutes and hurdy-gurdies an awful amount, but I suppose these elements are also well-played. 'Isara' is a nice little instrumental, far better than that tiresome folk album they brought out last year. 'Setlon' is nice as well, helping prove that Eluveitie have about two or three good purely folk songs in them per two years...not a whole album full.
It's integration of these folk and metal elements where Eluveitie stumble. Their particular style of folk metal has always sounded suspiciously like a melodic death metal album and a folk album being played simultaneously, rather than a, you know, folk metal album. With the enhanced influence of Gothenburg melodic angst and the even louder folk influence in the form of their "talented" female singer and hurdy-gurdy player, the seams joining the disparate elements of Eluveitie's sound are torn even further apart. It doesn't gel.
This was a problem before, so there must be more to this than an inability to rectify old bad habits. Yes, there is. The aforementioned Anna Murphy dominates the sound in many ways now, which is what is causing me to type the word hurdy-gurdy far more than I am comfortable with. She has also been encouraged by some fool to sing the choruses in her annoying exaggerated Irish accent (the accent of folk, of course!) So a track like 'Thousandfold' give Nuclear Blast the chance to promote Eluveitie with songs that sound a bit like Nightwish maybe, instead of just boiled-down basic as hell dreariness like 'Inis Mona.' And when she starts narrating I just want to leave the room.
It's a damn shame seeing as in my eyes Spirit was the dog's bollocks and by Slania the mutt still had enough of one testicle intact to terrorize a few soft toys and old people's legs. On Everything Remains the dog is dead. I do kind of love 'Kingdom Come Undone', and 'Sempiternal Embers.' But there is nothing of the calibre of 'Tegernako' or 'The Song of Life', even if the latter is an attempt. Everything Remains is all pretty basic and relies purely on the simple dichotomy of folk and metal that we are all far past by now.
There was once a time when I had high hopes for Eluveitie. There was also time when I realized they would never be anything more than mediocre. There was a time when I realized that every single album will be completely the same, from songs to the artwork. When I saw Everything Remains’ cover, I did not feel my theory was threatened.
Then, I got the album. I thought it would be as mediocre as all their other shit. But, I was wrong. Because this album is horrible. It is repugnant, disgusting, revolting, it is a travesty. My ears are still bleeding. My spirit has been broken. Slain. Evocated away from existence. Everything I held dear has been wiped clean from within my head.
Otherworld, as many intros to horrible albums go, was good. It opened nicely, and for a brief moment, the hopes that Eluveitie could actually do something right sparked again. Then, as is always the case, the awry shit began.
Well, everything remains as it always was. The vocals are still beyond bad, the death metal riffs are still deplorable. The hurdy gurdy is still not connected well to the general composition. And with time, it too gets repetitive. It gets boring, mundane. Every riff sounds the fucking same! The general tempo, the composition, the rhythm, nothing changes. Everything is the fucking same! Except for the parts that are worse.
The female vocals, which were perhaps a saving grace among the shit, are downplayed. We get more and more bad growling, more watered down death metal… until it becomes so cliché it turns into metalcore. Yes, metalcore. Complete with switches between shitty growling and even shittier clean vocal work. They always were mediocre mainstream bullcrap, but this… this goes beyond all levels of suck I could fathom. Even the pipes, which could’ve been quite good, are buried too deep inside a festering pile of Swiss shit to have any effect. The melodies become painfully dull as the whole thing slides deeper and deeper into polished, glitzy and utterly nauseating fecal matter. You will notice here and there (on the speaking part mostly) some play with effects, which are not really bad, but are ultimately out of place unless you're expecting a trance album.
You know what Eluveitie sound like. Now take that same sound they've been playing all their lives and make it even more slimily corny. Add moments that scream of metalcore and you have Everything Remains As it Never Was. I really cannot fathom how this band has a following. I really can't. This album has sonically sodomized me and ripped apart my immortal soul. I loathe it so strongly, I would rather jump headfirst into a vat of hyena stomach acid than listen to this album ever again. And yet, I know someone will come along and call this "great death metal interwoven with beautiful folk melodies". And I shall wish for pestilence upon humanity. As for Eluveitie, just for arrogantly dubbing themselves “The New Wave of Folk Metal”, they deserve nothing better than a 0.