Eluveitie – Helvetios (2012)

Sepatutnya A is for Anomaly yang mereview album ini sebab dia die hard fan band ni tapi kali ni gua Contramen pulak yang membuat review. Helvetios merupakan album studio kelima Eluveitie selain single dan juga live album yang dihasilkan ketika persembahan mereka di Metalcamp 2008.
Merlin Sutter – Drums
Chrigel Glanzmann – Vocals, Mandola & Mandolin, Tin & Low Whistles, Bagpipes, Bodhràn
Anna Murphy – Hurdygurdy, Vocals, Flute
Meri Tadic – Fiddle, Vocals
Ivo Henzi – Guitars
Simeon Koch – Guitars
Patrick Kistler – Tin & Low Whistles, Bagpipe
Kay Brem – Bass
Membawa genre New Wave Of Folk Metal, band yang berasal dari Switzerland ini kelihatan begitu maju dengan penghasilan album secara kerap dan setiap album yang dihasilkan menampakkan kematangan dari segi penciptaan lagu (arrangement) dan kualiti rakaman yang dihasilkan.
Helvetios merupakan sebuah album yang kedengaran lebih berat dari album2 terdahulu. Dengan permainan instrument yang mantap serta selingan bunyi2an dari instrument folk menampakkan betapa band ini perlu di beri perhatian umum dan sememangnya Eluveitie merupakan band yang bersungguh dan mungkin sudah boleh dianggap raja untuk genre seperti ini.
Eluveitie – Helvetios (2012)
Tracklist :
1 – Prologue
2 – Helvetios
3 – Luxtos
4 – Home
5 – Santonian Shores
6 – Scorched Earth
7 – Meet The Enemy
8 – Neverland
9 – A Rose For Epona
10 – Havoc
11 – The Uprising
12 – Hope
13 – The Siege
14 – Alesia
15 – Tullianum
16 – Uxellodunon
17 – Epilogue
Helvetios menjalani proses rakaman di New Sound Studio di Pfäffikon, Zurich Switzerland. menggunakan khidmat Tommy Vetterli (Tommy T. Baron) yang pernah bersama Coroner dan merupakan bekas gitarist Kreator sebagai producer untuk album ini. Beliau turut terlibat dalam proses rakaman dan mixing manakala untuk instrument folk proses rakaman dilakukan oleh Anna Murphy and Marco Jencarelli di The Soundfarm Studio di Lucerne.
Pada gua album ini agak advance jika dilihat pada album2 terdahulu. Sound gitar yang pada gua lebih berat. Juga boleh dikatakan punya penangan melodic death metal yang kuat dan instrument2 folks menyulami setiap riffing dan sememangnya padat isi setiap track yang dihasilkan. Seni dalam susunan riffing membuatkan mood lagu2 dihasilkan menarik. Drum stroke juga menarik dan lebih bervariasi. bagi vocal part, penggunaan growl dan clean vocal terutama female vocal menambah seri jalan cerita setiap lagu.
Sound produksi Helvetios juga menampakkan maju lebih setapak dari album terdahulu. Gua akui kemajuan dari segi sound produksi dan penghasilan lagu oleh Eluveitie semakin hari semakin meningkat berpandukan pada setiap album yang dihasilkan. Eluveitie bijak dalam menghasilkan lagu dalam garapan metal yang lebih kepada melodic death metal dan melodi yang dihasilkan dari instrument2 folks pula memberi mood folks sebenar. Juga kedengaran seakan lagu2 rakyat.
A Rose For Epona (Official Video)
A Rose For Epona yang merupakan single pertama yang muncul bersama video klip rasmi album ini sememangnya bijak dijadikan media promosi. Agak mainstrem dan mungkin bertujuan untuk memperkenalkan Eluveitie kepada umum akan kewujudan mereka. A Rose For Epona juga merupakan sebuah lagu yang mudah dicerna serta punya struktur susunan music yang tidak membosankan.
Eluveitie – Live at Feuertanz Festival 2010
Hello, this is A, is for Anomaly taking over. Sorry folks for the delay. Took me a while to get into this review, partially because I spent some time waiting for my pre-ordered Helvetios package to arrive and well, the other reason is none other than, commitment and shits haha (Contramen is such a hardworking editor, kudos bruhz). Well onward to the review!
Helvetios is a concept album, revolving around the Gallic Wars, so you can expect an epic album with instrumental passages in between. In short, it’s like a story told from the view on a Helvetian. Interesting, at least for me. Helvetios offers 17 tracks (some version 18, including bonus track A Rose for Epona accoustic version, which mine is not included ugh).
Prologue – Helvetios kicks off with Prologue as the opening track. A soundscape of winds blowing and narration by Alexander Morton narrating about the wars, lives and experience of the Helvetians. Gotta love the narration, and right before it ends, the second track kicks in.
Helvetios – Sweet mother of pearl! Huge guitar and folk instruments kick in, and I think somewhere in 0:25 I can hear a bassdrop (that’s right motherfuckers, Eluveitie uses bassdrop as well!) before choirs join in and everything drowns in chaos. I’m glad the balance between melo-death and folk elements are there, unlike the previous release it was poorly done. Love it, reminds me of their debut Spirit. Fuck yea. Eluveitie wasted no time with their metal ferocity and folk music epicness. The choirs = win!
Luxtos – One of my favourite track. Each tracks in the album are made to be seamless with each other. The sound of thunder and rain approaching in distance first and the folk insruments play faintly in background, and boom! The guitars kick in with drums and folk instruments ( I can hear bassdrop again,lol) before halts to a stop for whistles and hurdy gurdy to flirt around for  awhile. Let’s be serious, if you’ve been following Eluveitie from their Spirit era, you’ll definitely detect Uis Elveti song in this track. Yea, I call this Uis Elveti 2.0 for the apparent similarities. Beautiful. Gotta love the group chant and the archaic lyrics as well. I think the song tells the origin of the race through mythology perspective. ‘We are strong, we are rich adn we gladly are’. Evidently Eluveitie is proud of their roots.
Home –  While Luxtos is an impressive track, I cannot say the same for Home. Standard melo-death track with folk elements peppered throughout the song. Not my favourite but nice drumming by Merlin Sutter. That guy is improving with each and every album.
Santonian Shores – The folk section (or I rather say, solo) is pretty kick ass. Whistles, flute, hurdy gurdy seams beautifully with ala Dark Tranquillity riffing (listen to 2:15 and beyond), making this track a must listen to all.
Scorched Earth – I don’t really dig this track. Pretty much like an eulogy, singing about the lost battle and they had to fled from their homeland. Christoph Pelgen voiced the track, accompanied by nothing than soundscapes, with flute, uillean pipe and orchestra. Ugh, sad. Skip if you are looking for something uplifting.
A Rose for Epona – Come on, what’s this? The intro is so familiar, akin to Blood Stain Child’s Freedom. Eluveitie is way better than this, so IF they decided to rip off some other band melodies, I’d definitely be disappointed. Anna Murphy did a fairly good job with vocals in this track, although I’m not really impressed to be honest.

Epilogue – Similar with Prologue, the outro ended with winds howling and narration by Alex Morton, as well with a sad and deep instrumental (by wind instruments and percussion I think). Perfect ending, nuffsaid.
What can I say about Helvetios? If you are hampered by previous release ER(AINW) this probably live up to your expectation. Looking something similar to Spirit? Helvetios is the answer. This is a long winding album, but since it’s a concept album, I’d say it’s excellently executed. One complain though, the album cover. Where’s the iconic scratchy album artwork (refer to all releases pre-Helvetios)? Damn I miss that. Recommended for purchase. Balanced elements of folk and melodeath music.
Special shout out to Dead Beat Shop for helping to purchase and deliver this album to me. Folks if you feel like getting releases and merch, head up straight to them!
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