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Quantity defeats quality on this compilation album - 59%

kluseba, May 16th, 2011

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.