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If it Ain't Broke... - 75%

doomknocker, October 27th, 2014
Written based on this version: 2014, CD, Nuclear Blast

At this point, we're all pretty well aware of this Swiss octet and their propensity for grand folksy melodeath as only they can provide, but if you ask me these dudes and dudettes are a good example of a band who seems to get better with each subsequent release. Recent years and albums have proven that they can continue to delve into the depths of musicality and unearth recorded works that tend to be more enjoyable than the one(s) preceding them, like a creative evolutionary ladder we can all bear witness to and partake in its many fruits. But you'd want to expect that, wouldn't you? I know I would.

With regard to "Origins", which honestly came out quicker than I'd though, things aren't entirely rewritten, and if anything an influx of symphonic elements amidst an increase of face time for the natural folk instrumentation over the guitars give the majority of the musical outputs more theatrical and dramatic in approach (the samples and narration segments also help in this regard). This is definitely a good thing as, despite how much I've enjoyed earlier albums, there was a bit too much distance between the down-to-earth feel and the modernization the electric instruments contained, a contrast of vibes that has recently found a better gelling. If any of that makes sense? The point I'm making is that Eluveitie is far gone from being a work in progress and is able to go with their definitive sound into recorded solidarity, even if the bulk of the album leaps from one extreme to the next. Much of the material present is among some of the band's most melodic and enveloping to date. It's not always blisteringly fast or heavy, but where it lacks in that it makes up for with depth and however you pick your poison, you'll still be able to walk away rather satisfied, whether it's the bestial, heavy tracks ("From Darkness", "Inception") or the tunic-clad atmospheric likes ("Celtos", "Virunus", "The Call of the Mountains").

The whole of the album flows from one track to the next with a bit of a rock opera appeal with a story to tell; it takes some reading, but it's in there somewhere, helping give a stylistically similar appeal on the musical level. Successive tracks segue into each other with a genuine sense of flow, helping the listener go from one end of the tale to the next without too many bumps in the road getting in the way outside of the occasional bout of familiarity in spite of how the whole of the work is still its own beast. Then again, how ultimately busy should one take the woodwind, hurdy-gurdy and fiddle arrangements without losing that seemingly patented vibe, yes? And we wouldn't want that. And yet, that's still a small argument to place against the group in the grand scheme of things given how much depth the rest of the music contains all its own. Let the little things pass, dammit, and enjoy the ride as you should.

At the end of the day "Origins" is quite an enjoyable little number that feels like a more complete work than albums passed, thereby being something to appreciate all its own. But that being said, if you aren't all that keen on their work chances are this probably won't convert you, but for those who are, let this properly augment your discography. Ye shan't be disappointed.