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This album is VERY different from Eluveitie's other works. Instead of going for their normal Celtic Heavy Metal style, they have instead opted for a much more acoustic and Celtic Folk style, while fans who are accustomed to their other work will find this very different, I feel it works very well. Being a huge fan of Celtic, especially Irish, Folk, i loved the extremely Celtic tones of the songs here, especially the use of bagpipes. The fact that the songs are in Gaulic is another nice touch and adds to the authenticity and exotic feel of the album.
A good album if you are prepared for something different, give it a go. To try it out, it is on spotify.
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on 28 June 2011
Being a fan of traditional folk music, and especially Celtic music (and Celtic history), I absolutely love this album! Everything about it is appealing to me, from the picture of Cernunnos on the cover, to the atmosphere created in the album. It has quite a deep, dark, yet ethereal sound throughout, but with some more jiggy numbers thrown in, such as The Cauldron of Renascence and Memento (and Slania at the end). One of my personal favourites is Omnos. The songs are sung in the ancient Celtic language of Gaulish (Eluveitie, pron. el-vey-tie, itself meaning, "I am the Helvetian"). I've heard that a few fans of Eluveitie aren't too keen on this album as it is an acoustic one, rather than a folk metal album. I find that a shame, as this album is truly one of their best works, and if you don't like folk music, how can you like folk metal? I feel they really put their soul into it. As a side note, I find this band to have much integrity and they are one of the best bands around. This band, and this album in particular, would most likely appeal to pagans and lovers of Celtic history and folk music.
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on 18 April 2009
This is probably the best albume yet from Eluviete. But it you're after the death growls that typify the previous albums you're in for a shock. It's much more on the celtic side with the female vocals taking precedence.

Musically it's closer to celtic folk than Heavy Metal but boy the songs and music are really brilliant.

If you're a metal fan open your self up for a much more folky side and if you're a folk fan this is probably the a good introduction to a metal band and its great back catalogue.

Worth evey penny.
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on 1 August 2009
The oddly named Eluveitie are a band unfamiliar to me, so by expanding my listening horizon into folk music with a difference, I took the unprecedented step of purchasing `Evocation I - The Arcane Dominion'. On paper, this album ticks all the acceptable boxes with the alluring folk atmospheres, an assortment of different acoustic instruments and emotive female vocals. This is the third album from these Swiss masters, who have recorded two previous albums with the sound firmly entrenched in an amalgam of Celtic folk metal and melodic death metal. On this album, the band deliberately took a step backwards by replacing their electrified instruments in favour of more traditional folk instrumentation.

Eluveitie have taken a huge gamble with this, the third album in their repertoire, by breaking away from the music the fans have become accustomed to and recorded a Celtic inspired folk album. Other bands that have followed this trend (not from a Celtic folk perspective) and have succeeded are the hugely popular, Anathema, Paradise Lost and Katatonia, who broke their death metal moorings by opting for a more recognisable sound. Regardless of what the intentions were for Eluveitie, they must be commended for venturing so audaciously into uncharted waters. I will be quite candid here and say that upon the first few listens to this album, I was unimpressed with what I was hearing as I battled to make a connection to the music. I do take pleasure in Celtic folk music, with my taste varying from the likes of Clannad to the thrash laced stylings of Skyclad and everything else in between.

I began writing this review with an acerbic attitude and an element of biasness towards this album, as I just did not like it. What a difference a few days can make and thankfully, with few more successive listens under by belt, I began to appreciate what I was hearing and the message Eluveitie were trying to convey to the listening public. As mentioned, this album is acoustic folk music with female vocals courtesy of Anna Murphy, who has a decent voice, but her style and delivery is nothing too exceptional. Occasionally, there are sprinklings of male vocals that have been used more from an atmospheric perspective to add some diversity to the music. The album plays out at just over 50 minutes and comprises of seventeen tracks, one of which is a remix from last year's album, Slania.

There are eight members in the band, who play an assortment of different instruments from bagpipes, hurdy gurdy, whistles, mandolin and dulcimer - so one soon gets the picture how this album is portrayed to be. An interesting point is the album is sung totally in Gaulish, which was a language spoken in parts of Western Europe (mainly in Switzerland, Belgium and Western Germany) up until the 4th Century A.D. The language soon disappeared around this time and replaced by other dialects that are still spoken to this day. A bold statement for the album to be sung in Gaulish, but this is where I believe the album trips up slightly and would have sounded better and more dynamic sung in English.

When sung, Gaulish is a strange sounding language, but the tone is not as guttural as other Germanic based languages. As for the music, it does have a tendency to drag along in places and there is a large emphasis on the hurdy gurdy, which is an awful sounding instrument that has a monotone drone that penetrates deep into your subconscious. When the music does step out of the mould, it's very upbeat and thrilling with a real Celtic folk vibe that can rival some of the big names from this genre. However, several of the tracks can be rather gloomy and quite down spirited, but with this said the vocal melodies of Murphy are quite beautiful and very impressive indeed.

Several of the songs have a spoken voice intro prior to the commencement of the track - just a pity I botched my final Gaulish language exam at school, as I have no idea what is being said here, but obviously there is some deep-rooted message in the lyrics! Furthermore, the sepia tinged artwork is just as gloomy and is a perfect contrast to the music. All the musicians on this album are exceedingly talented in their own right; however, the production is not as sharp and has a tendency to become bogged down in the mass of instrumentation. Things really begin to pick up towards the second half of the album and this is where a number of of the better songs can be found with tasty acoustic guitar playing, bagpipes and whistles, which all incorporate a stunning backdrop to the music.

Along with this release comes a D.V.D. that was recorded live in Germany at the Summer Breeze Festival in 2008. The music is from the first two albums and they return using electric guitars, basses drums etc, along with all the strange looking folk-styled instruments. The picture and sound quality on this D.V.D. is superb with multiple camera angles of the band and the fervent crowd are all equally represented. Overall, this was an album that did grow on me at a slow rate, but I still have a few reservations as mentioned - otherwise a solid and likeable album. I am not too sure this will be to the liking of everyone as they do have a different stance towards Celtic folk music, but if you are an adventurous type or a connoisseur to the folk vibe, then this album might just surprise you too.
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on 27 May 2011
An interesting and rather innovative combination of folk and heavy rock with electronic effects, creating a mixture rather than a blend of musical styles. High quality of musicianship and reasonable production: good listening if you like that kind of thing. Best check that you do first (I did!).
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on 17 October 2013
Stumbled across this when looking for some different music. It seemed to tick the boxes for my tastes, so I downloaded. It will be an album I'll go back to from time to time without it being a must play. Enjoyed it. Seems very different to other material though - won't be to everyone's taste
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VINE VOICEon 27 December 2015
I absolutely love this CD and it is the one that I always come back to. My tastes are very eclectic, ranging from extreme metal to Mediaeval Babes and this just ticks all the boxes for a great album for me. Atmospheric and spiritually uplifting. Superb.
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on 28 April 2010
Excellent, brilliant, fantastic, what more can I say. It portrays in folk rock the ancient European culture that we should all be proud of, but in these politically 'correct' days we are encouraged to shun. True rebel music from a band that have really pushed the boundaries and developed their own niche. A smack in the face for all of those people who say that there is nothing new in music. The land and our ancestors speak through the music of the bards...!
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on 21 May 2015
Here they are being cool and quiet. Amazingly.
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on 15 October 2014
Good in small doses
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