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Folk metal at its best? Hell yeah! - 95%

Final_Judgement, March 6th, 2008

I can't even begin to express how amazing this band is, and their sophomore album "Slania" really shows the world that these guys were born to lead the folk metal movement.

Right off the bat, they bring out the phenomenal celtic melodies that keep a lot of people coming back for more. The inclusion of instruments like tin whistles adds a lot, but we'll get to that a bit later.

This album offers 12 tracks of perfectly blended melodeath and celtic folk. Funny to note: the songs with non-English titles tend to leave more towards the folk side, and the English-titled songs lean towards an almost metalcore-sounding melodeath.

The guitar work and drumming isn't anything particularly special; if you're looking for stellar melodeath instruments, don't look here. But, who listens to Eluveitie for those instruments anyway? Sure, there are a few great riffs on the album, but nothing you haven't heard a million times before in bands like At The Gates, In Flames, or even As I Lay Dying. Then, all of a sudden, some random wild folk instrument you can't even name breaks in and instantly captivates you.

The vocals aren't particularly interesting either, but fit really well with the whole blend. Typical melodeath/metalcore vocals are in abundance here. A few songs such as "Inis Mona", "Slania's Song", and "Grey Sublime Archon" have great, folky, clean-sung passages that steer the album away from complete vocal monotony.

The track "Calling the Rain" deserves its own paragraph here. To be honest, I don't know for sure that I have ever heard a better song. Opening with one of the catchiest melodies in metal, it soon breaks into a awesome melodeath song, undeniably climactic and energetic. The metalcore verses might deter some metal elitists, but, being a huge metalcore fan myself, I thought they fit perfect into the track. If you don't feel like listening to this album, at least do yourself a favour and get this track.

So, in conclusion, what we have here is a flawless mixture of melodeath metal, folk metal, and metalcore, with many a catchy melody to boot. The metalcore leanings may deter some of the band's early fans or anti-core fans of the genre, but any fan of metalcore will love this album, I can almost guarantee. Folkcore? God, I hope this trend catches on.

An early contender for album of the year.