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Same as Ever - 50%

Metalchuck, August 7th, 2014
Written based on this version: 2014, CD, Nuclear Blast

Well, Eluveitie's done it again. And by that, I mean that they've released nearly the exact same album for the fourth time in a row (discounting Evocation). You'd be hard-pressed to find anything on this album that you hadn't already heard on Slania or Everything Remains.

The folk instrumentation is as skillful as ever, but the riffing is the same, simple melodeath drudgery that they apparently borrowed from mid-era In Flames back in 2008. Seriously, if it wasn't for the hurdy gurdy and Chrigel's trusty tin flute, I'd barely be able to tell most of these songs apart at all. Even with the plethora of other instruments in the mix, the guitars make up a surprisingly large part of Eluveitie's sound, and it's a shame that they're still choosing not to do anything remotely interesting with them.

Fortunately, Chrigel's raspy vocals are as on point as ever. His rather unique tone is one of the few things in the band's repertoire that hasn't gotten stale. On the other hand, Anna's still wailing away in an attempt to sound as much like Evanescence as possible. There isn't anything inherently wrong with her voice; it's just that I keep expecting her to break into "Bring Me to Life" at any time, and it's rather unnerving. They've been utilizing her more and more ever since Slania dropped, and while I'm only too happy to have a stronger female presence in metal, her voice just doesn't particularly do much for me.

Another qualm I have is that there's just no real sense of atmosphere on this album. Spirit was filled with a delightfully airy, folksy atmosphere that made it stand out in metal, but that mostly disappeared on Slania, and it's absolutely absent on Origins. What we have is a very polished, sterile-sounding record that lacks any of the charm and feel of the band's early work. But as that's been the case from Everything Remains onward, it's not surprising. It's just rather sad.

So, if you're looking for a fresh take on folk metal, you can go ahead and pass this up. However, if you're looking for another sixteen songs that sound exactly the same as this band's past two albums, you're in luck!