Eluveitie - Evocation II - Pantheon review



Reviewer:
8.3

85 users:
7.16
Band: Eluveitie
Album: Evocation II - Pantheon
Release date: August 2017


01. Dureððu
02. Epona
03. Svcellos II (Sequel)
04. Nantosvelta
05. Tovtatis
06. Lvgvs
07. Grannos
08. Cernvnnos
09. Catvrix
10. Artio
11. Aventia
12. Ogmios
13. Esvs
14. Antvmnos
15. Tarvos II (Sequel)
16. Belenos
17. Taranis
18. Nemeton


The follow-up to 2009's Evocation I - The Arcane Dominion seemed like a far-off mirage in the wake of Eluveitie's drastic restructuring in 2016 - not the first shake-up the band has undergone, but the first that felt like a true splintering of the group. Not one to entertain setbacks, however, bandleader Chrigel Glanzmann assembled another substantial cast of musicians and finished Evocation II - Pantheon with only a slight delay.

Evocation II, as the titular continuity with Evocation I suggests, is a primarily acoustic album comprising traditional pieces drawn from Eluveitie's usual stock, played in a style closer to their original incarnations than what you'll find on most Eluveitie releases. Tracks like "Epona" and "Lvgvs" encroach on the modern era with accessible structures and smatterings of harsh vocals, and occasional swaths of enthusiastic percussion do press the mood and tempo throughout the album, but what you hear on "Aventia" and "Grannos" is nothing more than a folk band immersing itself in reels and rounds. Some listeners might recognize "Ogmios" as another reinterpretation of the traditional Breton tune "Tri Martolod," the song that gave life to both "Inis Mona" and "Celtos"; while it's still not quite a conventional cover, I do enjoy hearing a softer variation on the tune (pounding drums notwithstanding). Likewise, the well-known "Scarborough Fair" rears its head in "Antvmnos," and "Tarvos II (Sequel)" is an acoustic reprise of Slania's "Tarvos." (One of my favorite things about this album is that I actually recognize some of the songs without having to do research.)

The droning "Esvs" and ritualistic "Catvrix" do come close, but Evocation II boasts nothing quite as dark as "Nata" or "Desimiis Luge" or other tracks that made Evocation I as much a haunting, druidic trial as a straightforward folk album. Evocation II goes in the opposite direction, it seems, bringing more energy than atmosphere with such charged-up tracks as "Nantosvelta" and "Cernvnnos." This album is more uniform and somewhat less adventurous than its predecessor; nonetheless, there are as many outstanding cuts as on any Eluveitie album and numerous chances to show off the band's impressive array of traditional instrumentation.

I will not deny harboring reservations about the future of Eluveitie in the wake of Anna Murphy, Ivo Henzi, and Merlin Sutter splitting, and in truth it's probably premature to wax philosophical about the band's reincarnation until they get back to playing the heavier material that dominates their catalogue; Evocation II makes a great first impression, however. Fabienne Erni bears enough resemblance to Anna Murphy's distinctive voice that I imagine she could cover Murphy's vocal parts handily, and a key part of Eluveitie's sound remains, if altered, intact. Evocation II feels like a faithful continuation of what Evocation I delivered; perhaps not as strong, but another testament to the fact that Eluveitie has never been just another folk metal band, but a metal folk band.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 8


 



Written on 26.08.2017 by Reviewing since 2010. Reviewing competently since ____. More metal than you since before the dawn of 'istry.


Comments

Comments: 6   Visited by: 230 users
26.08.2017 - 13:10
Netzach
Spot on. The album, as your review states, lacks the dark undertones of Evocation I and some of the instrumentals kind of blend into each other, but Eluveitie have always been at their best when dropping the metal in favor of the folk imo.
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26.08.2017 - 19:31
metalwolf
Yep, I totally agree with this review. My first thought when hearing the album was also that Fabienne does sound a lot like Anna. Probably not a coincidence IMHO.
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Cthulhu for President! Why settle for the lesser evil?
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17.09.2017 - 13:39
darkthrone
Is it worth getting as not sure
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17.09.2017 - 17:35
ScreamingSteelUS
Agent of Steel
Written by darkthrone on 17.09.2017 at 13:39

Is it worth getting as not sure

I would say so. I still find myself listening to it even though the review is long done, which is a good sign, and it contains what are now some of my favorite Eluveitie songs. I would say there hasn't yet been an Eluveitie album not worth getting.
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Row, row, fight the power
Djently down the stream

I wonder how you will defend your ludicrous assertions.
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17.09.2017 - 18:16
darkthrone
I have got some of the eluvetitie albums which are the best songs on the New one -thanks for replying
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17.09.2017 - 19:20
ScreamingSteelUS
Agent of Steel
Written by darkthrone on 17.09.2017 at 18:16

I have got some of the eluvetitie albums which are the best songs on the New one -thanks for replying

My favorites are "Lvgvs," "Epona," "Catvrix," and "Ogmios," but I also particularly like "Esvs" and "Aventia."
----
Row, row, fight the power
Djently down the stream

I wonder how you will defend your ludicrous assertions.
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