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When it comes to folk metal, the differences between each band can be huge. When you know that a band will be power, few differences can be found. But folk music it's unique in each place of the world, even there are some similarities between some places.
This band plays celtic metal. And I really love celtic music. Like metal. So each band I found that manages to merge celtic folk with metal has to be mine. But I haven't yet found any band nor album that manages to show the full potential of celtic metal. Cruachan are the most famous, but they just play classic celtic tunes with some growls and metal instruments and sound. Tuatha De Danann are too soft, being like Elvenking, more of a power metal band with some flutes and the like. Mägo de Oz and Saurom Lamderth have some celtic influences and sounds in their music, and I really enjoy the Mägo de Oz covers of some celtic songs, but they are too diverse to be considered pure celtic metal.
But now, we have Eluveitie. This band plays something like death/black metal merged with celtic music, using many folk instruments. That list is very big compared with the other bands, which I don't think any of those even used more than 5 different folk instruments. Eluveitie played 12 folk instruments, plus the metal ones. So you can't deny the sound will not be monotonous on the album.
For example, let's take the opener. Celtic intro, and then a song with a very heavy riff plus folk instruments. On the solo, you may recognize the melody if you have heard some more celtic music before. I'm not expert, but the band that comes to my mind on, not only that solo, but most songs, is Lúnasa. That band plays classic celtic tunes, and they are Irish. And you can't be more celtic than anyone from Ireland.
So well, classic Irish celtic folk tunes merged with the harshness of death metal, and sometimes even with black metal blastbeats. Did they succeed? Yes. Now, I won't even compare them to Cruachan, since they are as different as the day and the night. Cruachan just were a band that played half time celtic music and half metal, but when they merged both, it looked like a mess, very artificial.
Enough of their music. If you don't have good songs to backup, it doesn't matter. But Eluveitie has, and a lot. The album is 50 minutes long, and in folk metal that is enough, since folk metal albums are usually short. And there are no bad songs, no filler. I have some preferences, like Uis Elveti, Tegernakô and The Dance Of Victory. And the ones who don't like nonmetal may not like Aidu, being almost entirely celtic, without any heaviness. The album still has not any filler, and the highlight are very subjective, since the quality never drops.
Overall, an amazing debut, and the best celtic metal album I've ever heard. The only other album that has this quality is Caledonia from SuidAkrA, but since they are more of melodeath with celtic music than celtic music with metal, Eluveitie has the crown of the best celtic metal band ever. Recommended to any folk metal fan, celtic or not.