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I remember when I was first getting into metal. Eluveitie was introduced to me as a great Folk Metal band, and, being the impressionable lad that I was, I ate it up. Even today, though, that old stuff still sounds pretty decent, with its heavier guitar tone and somewhat brusque, abrasive, warlike nature. So imagine my surprise, then, upon hearing the band's latest material - did they just think this was funny or something? Is it some sort of sadomasochistic revenge plot against all the kids who bullied them in grade school? Is it an attempt at selling out and trying to gain even more mainstream appeal than they already have? Whatever it is, the band has released this festering, whoreish abhorrence upon the world with the title Omnos.
The gimmick here is basically that the band are going straight to the roots of their folksy sound, and this is an all-acoustic release complete with mostly female vocals, poppy instrumentation and no shame at all in being complete, utter radio crap. The title track on this thing is, and I'm not going to mince my words here, absolutely horrendous in every sense of the word. It's a very easy-listening type song with no effort at all required to understand or digest it, no energy evaporating from any of its pores and just about the shallowest, lowest-common-denominator pandering hook I have ever heard in my life. Just listen to that fluttery little melody! It's completely, wholly horrible, the worst form of bastardization imaginable. It's like if the entire compilation of top 40 pop songs from the late-80s-early-90s gang-raped European folk; completely plastic, irredeemably soulless. It's just so clean, so superficial, so obviously intended to be digested quickly for a day or two, stuck in the listeners head and then thrown away, and that doesn't even begin to describe just how stupid this theme melody actually is. It's just something you have to hear to believe. Everything about this song is cheap, manufactured and insulting to the listener, from the aforementioned melody to the flimsy, enervated, layered chorus to that silly jingling trill on said chorus that might as well be in a cereal commercial, or background music at a children's clothing section at WalMart. Yes, there are folksy overtones here, but let's stop kidding ourselves; this is bargain-bin radio diarrhea at its worst.
The other song on here isn't quite as bad, but it is still very bland, lacking any replay value at all. Completely dry, enervated compost, all of it. Why do people constantly eat this shit up? It's just...bad, on every level imaginable. Music can be so much more than simplistic, brainless entertainment. It can carry emotions, it can lift you up and it can make you feel what the artist was feeling, it can change your life. Music is a voyage of discovery, to be taken with an open mind and a desire for expression, for something that speaks to one's very soul with conviction and energy.
In all respects, then, things as shallow and insipid as Eluveitie's Omnos are nothing less than completely inexcusable.
The only thing this scandal upon the face of artistic integrity makes me feel is the the paper-thin texture of the green dollar bills the band had in mind when writing it. This is the worst, the lowest of the fucking low. Music this bad should be a cardinal sin, and if you supported this cracked up pile of nothing, you should be ashamed of yourself. Truly, truly wretched.
Eluveitie has grown, grown fast. From the early days of their Ven EP to my first introduction of Spirit where their unusual style of melodic death metal goes traditional Celtic folk exploded into a sort of phenomenon that many bands quickly becoming accustomed with. Slania then was released last year and showed the bands rise to new heights, with major tours and even bigger promotions. Slania divided many people, with a shitload of people angry at the new lame style Eluveitie showcases so elegantly and possibly more people jizzing themselves at this new album. Either way, Eluveitie has exploded into a force to be reckoned with.
2009 hits and news has been revealed of an all acoustic and full on folk album, with Eluveitie dropping their prominent melodeath and taking on the full force of a folk band. I was wary at first, but Elvenking did the same thing after ruining themselves with the shit called The Scythe and completely saved their career. Eluveitie I thought would be taking a risk, but at the same time I figured they wouldn't be able to do much wrong at this point - although the departure of twins Sevan and Rafi Kirder could be a possible factor in a bad output. Either way, I happened to get this single before the album was released and was quite fucking pleased. The melodies hit my ears and I was taken away.
This single is definitely focused on the two primary songs that easily show the style they've taken with this new album perfectly. After now having heard the full length album, I think it's quite safe to say they did the right thing by choosing Omnos and Brictom (or Nuclear Blast choose? I do not know). Either way, Omnos is the title of the single and is obviously the centerpiece from which the full length and this single revolves on. Holy shit, I don't know how Eluveitie as a band do it, but they are masters at creating catchy as shit melodies and unbelievably memorable songs. All vocals, clean sung and the few harsh moments, are sung in Gaulish; a language I've been interested in picking up for a long time. Both songs are focused on the acoustic melodies just as much as the folk instruments they've become famous for, everything from the hurdy gurdy to the fiddles and bagpipes. Clean female vocals are also the centerpiece, with Anna Murphy showcasing her unbelievably wonderful voice.
Eluveitie have struck gold it seems, I seriously don't think they can do any wrong at this point. This single piqued my interest, the following full length was a definite must have. I highly suggest listening to Omnos, if you enjoy it from one listen then this single has done what it's needed to do and you should pick up the following album. If you are a fan of Celtic folk music, or anything related to Eluveitie, I cannot imagine a fan being disappointed.
After having recorded two albums and an EP of their own special mix of folk and melodic death metal, Swiss band Eluveitie decided that is was time to switch gears and drop the metal elements on the third album, Evocation I - The Arcane Dominion. A few weeks before the release date of said album, the band released this two-song single featuring the first song off the album to receive a video, Omnos, as well as another song, Brictom.
As was previously mentioned, Eluveitie’s newest recordings aren’t really metal anymore (we’ll see if this is just a phase or part of a larger-scale evolution) but rather a sort of acoustic folk music. Omnos is an excellent example of the new style adopted at this point, starting with a series of acoustic melodies driven by an original mix of flutes, bagpipes and other unusual instruments (unusual outside the folk metal genre, of course). The acoustic melodies here are already very catchy by themselves before being augmented by hurdy gurdy player Anna Murphy’s vocals. She’s responsible for nearly all the vocals on the song, augmented by a few well-placed but very rare shouts from regular vocalist Chrigel Glanzmann.
Brictom is a very similar track to Omnos in terms of style, although the individual variations are there and allow the two to be easily distinguished. The song starts with another melodic folkish section of bagpipes and flutes before Anna’s vocals kick in, performing a role very similar to the previous song. The chorus to Brictom is particularly catchy and, along with the instrumental work, greatly reminiscent of older folk music from Europe. Chrigel once again makes three brief appearances in this song right after the main chorus is played each time with his harsh vocals which used to be the basis of the previous albums.
The lyrics in both songs are in Gaulish and as such I can’t grasp even a single word of what is said, but the way they’re sung by clean vocalist Anna Murphy makes the language appear particularly beautiful.
This single contains two tracks which also appear on the full-length album and as such it’s probably much better to just get that album (something I haven’t yet gotten around to do as of now, the day this review was written), which, if it sounds like these two songs, is definitely something both you and I should get around to buying right now.