The Swiss folk metalers have been in the scene for almost a decade now… they tried hard but they were also very lucky to have such recognition in a short time period… and a big label behind them for support. They have built up a strong fan base over the years and every new album is like a pagan orgy for their faithful fans.
Still delivering Celtic folk melodies, pagan-like atmospheres with various folk instruments (fiddles, tin whistles and flutes, bag pipes and hurdy gurdies) which are blended with heavy melodeath music. Helvetios” was recorded at New Sound Studio in Pfäffikon, Switzerland, with producer Tommy Vetterli (Coroner/ex-Kreator guitarist). Tommy recorded the drums, the guitars and the vocals and mixed and produced the album as well. Most folk instruments and some vocals were recorded by Anna Murphy and Marco Jencarelli at Soundfarm studios in Lucerne. Furthermore, the narrator of the album is the Scottish actor Alexander “Sandy” Morton. Of course, the production is huge and very clear… the orchestrations are very smart and the whole package is good. But do not expect any variations in terms of the band’s previous albums. They are all in the same musical style (heavy/death melodic folk, pagan music that we’ve heard many times in the past) – something that pleases the fans of the band… that were distressed when they saw (and listened to) the video for “A Rose For Epona” (a song where Anna is singing and has a more gothic/celtic-like modern orientation – imo is the best song of the album)… and thought that the band has totally changed its style. That’s really frustrating at times… some say a band (any band) should change and evolve throughout the years... but when that happens… they accuse the band of “alteration”! You cannot satisfy all the fans and that’s pretty clear.
The album may have its moments: “Helvetios”, “Scorched Earth, “A Rose For Epona”, “Havoc”, “Alesia”, “Uxellodunon”… but overall it becomes a little monotonous after a few spins and will not excite you whatsoever. Surely, this is not the best work of Eluveitie (“Slania” probably is)… and it is recommended only to the die-hard fans of the band…