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Out of Ideas - 35%

Kuippana, February 27th, 2010

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.