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Evocation I: The Arcane Dominion

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★★★☆☆
(9 Reviews)

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  • For fans of Eluveitie’s previous work, this isn’t anything like that, as there’s not really any black metal, or even metal influence. Yet, it’s not a real folk album, either – I have plenty of straight-ahead Celtic (and even some Scandinavian) folk CDs, and this doesn’t sound like that. It IS folk-influenced – there’s the obvious presence of the folky acoustic instruments, and Irish/Celtic melodies pop up throughout. The singing doesn’t sound Celtic to me – it reminds me of folk-pop bands from Scandinavia, particularly Varttina, which is a kind of cool, energetic sound. The drumming is the only thing that bugs me on this, it tends to have that overstressed “3″ on the 4/4, like modern pop-rock (almost techno-ish), although it’s not terrible – but it’s certainly not Celtic/folky sounding. The overall sound is very polished, modern, professional recording quality, and it sounds good to me.
    But then, I don’t need a straight-ahead folk album by Eluveitie, there’s plenty of that on the market; and they’ve got two and a half pretty solid Celtic black metal albums out (and there’s more by bands like Cruachan and Waylander if you want more), and I’m pretty sure they’ll go back to their metal style after this, so it was cool to hear something different. (Finntroll similarly did an “acoustic” 3rd album, then returned to their folk-metal style for the next couple).
    So, I agree with the people who commented that it sounds somewhat pop-rock, but since it retains the folk/pagan/ancient Gaelic influences of their previous recordings, it still is better and more interesting than anything you’ll hear on the radio – I mean, it would “fit in” somewhat with some modern radio, but it would still stand out and if I heard it on the radio, not knowing what it was, it would be the only thing that would interest me, and I’d run out and buy it! Overall, it’s a cool CD with an unusual and interesting sound, and I like it quite a bit. (There is actually a scene of modern folk and medieval pop/rock that this fits in pretty well with, although some of those bands have a goth/80’s/punkish rock basis that I don’t like as much).
    It’s still pretty energetic, but will do for those times when you don’t want to totally rock out or scare the company, but want to listen to a little Eluveitie.

    Posted on February 25, 2010