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A shame and offense to any folk metal band - 5%

kluseba, March 16th, 2011

I feel really mixed about Eluveitie. I discovered the band when they released the very good "Slania" album and I also liked the live album "Live at Metalcamp". I liked a couple of songs from the acoustic output "Evocation I - The Arcane Dominion" but most of the album was rather boring and lacked of some originality as almost every folk metal band is doing acoustic albums right now. I felt then disappointed about "Everything remains as it never was" as it has less folk influences and sounded rather like an average melodic death metal record with a few exceptions. So I decided to discover the first recordings of the band in the hope to find some more folk elements in there.

What I discovered is though one of the worst metal albums I've ever listened to in my life. It was already tough to get through those six songs once and for this review I even gave a second try to it. My sacrifice shall be honoured.

"D'Vêritû Agâge D'Bitu" is the expectable acoustic introduction that tries to build up a spiritual atmosphere. The narrator sounds like a drunken guy with spelling mistakes while a choir of drunken men repeats the title for a long while. When the folk instruments and heavy guitars get in, one expects that something may be developed on this but the same melody and riff is simply repeated for about almost one minute and leads to the second track.

"Uis Elveti" is the first real song on this record. Instead of kicking the song off after the boring introduction, there is a new introduction to the song. A dumb riff gets in with flutes that play always the same melody. The singer growls in a melodic death metal style and doesn't fit at all to the folk music and the drunken choir of men in the background. A lost woman also sings one line at a moment, maybe just before she will be raped by some drunken Celtic warriors. The song varies at some points but the whole thing sounds quite incoherent. Sometimes the song sounds like modern metal with dumb riffs, then like average melodic death metal, then like an unprofessional folk song recorded by a bored band playing in an Irish pub while a choir is singing from time to time. The point is that the song doesn't get to a point. The mixture of Limp Bizkit meets In Flames meets Cruachan just sounds awful. At least, the song has got some diversity and is probably the best on the record. Best means in here that the track is only incoherent and dull but has at least some ambitions.

The next track is "Ôrô", another instrumental folk interlude. A horn plays one note or maybe two throughout the whole while we hear some thunder and rain. That last for one minute before a piper plays a little random melody until the end of the track. The song might work for the soundtrack of a historical war movie but as an interlude on such a short record, it is simply pointless and boring lacking of any highlights.

"Lament" begins with an annoying instrument that causes immediate headaches while some random folk instruments play along. A dumb riff gets in and the melodic death metal part begins that has no connection to the beginning at all. The guitar sound is very dumb and bad, the drums are way too loud and the singer plays growler and storyteller at the same time while the drunk choir appears from time to time to sing "Hey, hey!" or "Heyaheyahey!". The band tries to add some variety to the sound but sounds once again just overloaded and pointless and it gets more and more ridiculous. The song is even worse than the second track as the instruments are even more random and as the singer does a quite bad job and sounds sometimes like a shrieking raven falling from a tree. I rarely heard something that ridiculous.

"Druid" starts without introduction and directly gets over to fast and dumb guitar riffs and boring drum patterns just to change for some flute melodies before the death metal parts kicks off again. This schizophrenic and pointless style is kept until the very end. The vocal performance is maybe even worse than on "Lament" and instead of getting better the record gets more and more horrible what I didn't expect to be possible after the boring and way below average beginning. I don't know why this song lasts almost seven minutes. Maybe it's just an evil spell of some druids that want to torture us for our stupidity to have bought this horrible record.

"Jêzaïg" is an acoustic track to close the album and as closure track, it's way too long. At least, the horrible vocals aren't included on this song, well not that much at least. We listen to some boring flute and piper melodies mixed with some sound effects, dumb guitar riffs and horrible random background growls. After one minute everything is said and played and teh song is stretched to almost five minutes. The flute solo is probably the worst I have ever heard in my life. Notes are missed, the sound is weak and it doesn't fit at all with the rest of the music. An instrumental track can't be worse than this crap and the band dishonours all the great folk metal bands out there with this trash.

What a bad album. "Uis elveti" is a mediocre song; the other ones are simply awful and completely fail. I can't even tell which song is the worst, they are all horrible. Everything is bad: the song structures, the riffs, the drum play, the vocals, the folk instruments, the sound. The best thing about the album is its short length and the cover. I can't get it that this is the same band that later released "Slania" and that this thing got them a record deal or was rerecorded or re-mastered, it's a complete waste of time and talent. I never ever gave a rating below ten points on this site and I've done many reviews, but this thing is worth it. Just avoid this at all costs. This record will be banned from my collection and hopefully be erased from my mind one day. May the druids rest in peace.

Nothing special here - 37%

linkavitch, April 6th, 2010

Eluveitie, a band name I cannot even pronounce. In the few years of activity Eluveitie has become quite poplar, while receiving a fair share of criticism along the way. On Eluveitie’s debut Vên, you will hear the same sound and formula Eluveitie are known for, which is nothing more than an awkward mix of Gothenburg style riffing and a largely present Celtic influence with the help of all the folk like instruments that are used.

For the Vên EP, Eluveitie have given us only six songs that follow one of two patterns. Each song follows a pattern; either an instrumental with many Celtic influences in the drum beating or just the fact that traditional Celtic-y instruments are being used, like on “Ôrô” or “Jêzaïg.” The other pattern is what most people think of when they hear Eluveitie being mentioned, which is Gothenburg style riffing with folksy instruments overlapping that during the verse. The later is why Vên annoys me. I find Vên to be a boring, repetitive, and overall an annoying listen. First off, the production is annoying. The production on Vên is a lazy re-recording of a demo, and by the sound of this EP that demo must have sounded terrible. Everything sounds faint and inaudible, especially the drums; the drums sound horrible. All the vocal parts are also low in the mix; from the raspy growl given by Glanzmann, or the few female vocal parts you’ll notice here and there. The vocals don’t really bother me; I can tolerate the weak growl and everything, but I don’t care for the down tuned guitars. Down tuned guitars have a bad reputation for being almost alway in horrible music, most commonly nu-metal. I know Eluveitie are not nu-metal and all but that doesn't mean I have to like the down tuned guitars that are used on Vên.

None of the instruments sound in place. All of them are being played over the riffs in the background and all, but they don’t do anything for the song other than hearing a whistle playing a few notes or something in the background to tap your foot to. The few notes that all the bonus instrument play are pleasant to listen to but they do not add anything to the song. The riffs should do that by themselves, and they do not.

After three tracks Vên starts to get annoying for either the repetitive riffs, forced use of folk instruments, or whatever. All the songs bleed in and it’s nothing more but a thirty minute or so challenge to sit through it all the way hoping you’ll receive a prize for doing so. The instrument baggage (all thirty being used or whatever) are what makes Vên stand out. Without them Vên would be an incredibly generic album not worth anyones time. Sadly even with all the instruments it’s still not worth your time. Just ignore it.

Leaves you wanting more - 92%

AndreasS, April 4th, 2009

D'Vêritû...Agâge D'Bitu! As soon as this chanting of the opening track started, I knew I was in for a nice ride...

Eluveitie is a band I saw live 3x, so saying I like them is an understatement. This is their first release (or well, the re-master of the re-recording of their first demo at least in my case). It's incredible how good this is. Even though I think Spirit and Slania are even better, this EP sounds great.

This is like a rough diamond, and even the re-master sounds underproduced, which is a good thing because of the raw folk metal presented here. Some might not like this sound, and I guess they would prefer the more polished production on Elu's later releases.

The lyrics are in English and old Helvetian. This mix works surprisingly well. The vocals themselves are typically for Eluveitie. Both the "lead vocals" and the "group chanting" are raw, untrained, natural and epic. They fit really well with the music.

Speaking of the music. "Gallic Folk Metal" is a weird subgenre. Yet I don't know how else to describe it. Instruments I don't even know the name of (and the more well-known Hurdy Gurdy) make this mix of metal and ethnic folk one of the most enjoyable CDs I heard in a while. There's a Celtic feel to everything about this EP, from the heavy folk instrument-powered instrumental pieces, to the lyrics, to the artwork...

The cover is yet another thing that grips you never to let go again. I love it. The different shades of blue...beautiful.

This CD is really sounds like a band effort. Not one member seems to be egotripping, like too often happens with other bands (pointless guitar soloing etc, you know the drill), but this EP was created as a team (or so it sounds, I wasn't with them in the studio ofcourse). The best way to describe it, is it sounds 'organic'.

This is a recommended release for all of you who like your daily dose of folk-laden metal. Eluveitie is, in my humble opinion, the best thing to come from Switzerland since chocolate...

Best song: Lament
Good things: music as a whole, vocals, folk-passages, rawness
Bad things: drumsound (on occasion), short duration (approx. 25 min)

Re-master The Drums On The Re-re-master! - 35%

GuyOne, February 21st, 2006

Being one for viking/pagan/folk metal I was quite excited to jump into this EP. The cover looked great, the track names interesting enough... The production... Well even for a re-mastered edition... The shits.

The intro rings in a little short. Just when you think it's going to get good it's over. There is excellent chanting that appears nearly right away sounds very enchanting and works quite well. The only problem is that the intro ends with a melody that could easily be created into a song... Except it abruptly ends. I don't know where the rest went but I want to hear it!

It is noticable right away that the drums are almost non-existant. The snare is clearly heard but that is about it... And the snare can get annoying at times. Luckly their are enough instruments being used to almost block out the snare. The male vocals are quite... Unique. Really that is all that can be said. They are raw and untrained. I think it fits the theme of the band perfectly. It truly sounds like a folk band of old jamming away. The flutes and whistles REALLY stand out on this track as the majority of the melodies are played with them. And as the track winds down the low male vocals in the back really help thicken the lead vocals.

"Ôrô" is the first of two instrumentals. The song is basically a collection of pipes playing. There is a constant hum of feedback of some sort through the entire 2:50 that I was listening to more than the actual track. Near the end comes a rather interesting strings piece that includes a "boinging". It's neat and sounds fun but that feedback gets in the way.

"Lament" continues the strigs that ended "Oro". The drums are much more present, more than just the snare is present and it sounds much better. The drumming helps the song speed along at a fast enough rate that keeps up with perfectly. Throughout the song there are numerous fiddles, fast and slow, that really stand out. In the background you can hear the guitars riffing away but it is really only present to keep the pace of the song going while the other instruments jam away. The male vocals screech away. Luckly there are some spoken lyrics that really stand out. But don't go to think that the vocals are suppose to be the standout part. A 3:33 song that has mostly "fiddle solos" and little vocals isn't relying on it's vocals to carry the song that is for sure.

"Druid" is the longest song (6:18) and starts off right away with some semi-well placed blast beats accompanied by a nice flute melody. The acoustics that follow are great but way too short before the blast beats come back. A nice suprise! The vocals arn't nearly as screechy. They sound darker and more growly. The better production of the drumming means you can hear the double-bass kick and it sounds damn good. It is quite apparent that "Druid" is a more standard track with verses, break downs, etc. The acoustics return around 2:20 but once again only last about 10-12 seconds. It sounds beautiful but way too short. The deep male chanting doesn't sound as nice on this track. In fact when it first appears you don't quite know what it is. 4:17 starts with a basic riff but the following leads display that the guitarists are talented but just the style of metal doesn't call for them to be present throughout the entire song. The track closes with more blast beats and the same chanting that sounds like a droning. It's not impressive and for the most part a little annoying.

"Jêzaïg" is the second instrumental and the closing track to the EP. This is probably the best drum production on the entire EP. It sounds clearer and better presented. There is nothing technical about it, it's slow and works quite well. The track is more or less a collection of solos presented by each instrument followed along with more of the same low droning vocals in the background. The "chorus" is a "melodic" piece which includes all the instruments at once. The flutes really mess up this part, they make no sense and sound more like random playing than any real notes or melody. It sends the track rambling into different directions making the EP close with extremely mixed feelings.

Well if the drum production throughout the album kept like "Jêzaïg", the male vocals were abit less raw and the closing track less of a mess this album would be an excellent display of pagan/folk metal. It only leaves you waiting for their 2006 release "Spirit" with hopes that they can perfect the qualities they already perform well with and get right the qualities that didn't quite stand out.

What drag this EP down are the flaws. They really stand out. I can't listen to the first instrumental anymore because the feedback really irritates and the second instrumental because it makes me anxious listening to the random fluting. It's too bad the well constructed songs had to be squeezed between such bad tracks.