Live at The House of Blues
West Hollywood, CA
October 2nd, 2014
Review and photos by Travis Baumann
Eluveitie, "the New Wave of Pagan Folk Metal", return to Los Angeles on their head-lining "Origins World Tour". I have seen and reviewed Eluveitie several times in the past years since they first burst upon the scene, and it is with each release and tour that they further themselves into my list of favorite bands.
Eluveitie are an extremely dynamic band on stage, as they have eight members that play various instruments and sing. The founder and frontman is Chrigel who not only sings but also plays a plethora of traditional and medieval instruments which help define their sound.
Anna Murphy also sings on a number of songs, her melodic vocals offsetting Chrigel's harsh singing style. Anna also plays the hurdy gurdy, or Drehleier as it is known in German, which is a stringed instrument that creates very unique drones and sounds.
In addition to that, they have another tall, bearded musician playing various lutes and lyres, two guitarists, a bassist, and a drummer. Normally they have another woman playing violin but Chrigel announced that she had to fly home that morning unexpectedly so they would be improvising for the violin parts (as it would turn out, this added more lutes, lyres, and pipes in the music which was really cool).
Eluveitie hail from Switzerland but their music invokes a much earlier age before that country was even a thought. They sing in a mix of Gaulish, Swiss German, and English on their albums and sing about life in the early times of the Gauls including their lifestyle, their battles, and their mythology.
This tour was in support of their latest release, "Origins" and they started the set off with their first single off of it, "King". Keeping with the new material they did "From Darkness" and "Carry the Torch" off this album as well.
They followed that with two from their 2010 album "Everything Remains (As It Never Was)" with the great "Nil", and the absolutely awesome "Thousandfold" which still is one of my favorite songs of theirs.
They continued with track after track of awesome music, playing songs from even their earliest material like, "AnDro" andas well as moving all over their catalog including "Sucellos", "De Reuf vo de Barge", "Gray Sublime Archon", "The Nameless", and "Inception".
Chrigel is a very personable fellow, despite his brutal war-like vocal delivery, and would talk to the audience at times; explaining little bits of information about songs or titles. On some songs Anna would take lead vocals and these songs offered a more melodic interlude but they certainly were not slower songs, just less of an aggressive edge to their delivery.
Even though they had already played for what most bands would consider a full set, they were actually only half way through. They played "Kingdom Come Undone" followed by "The Silver Sister", "Viana" and "A Rose for Epona".
At one point Anna taught the audience some basic Gaulish in order to sing along with the chorus for one of the songs, which was unique. They still had "Neverland" before hitting the final song of the main set, "Omnos". Anna asked whether the audience wanted to hear it in Gaulish, Swiss German, or English and the audience all screamed out Swiss German (I would have preferred Gaulish but its a great song in any language).
Ending the set with the more melodic "Omnos", there was a brief pause before the band reclaimed the stage and they played the title track off of the "Helvetios" album which is a great song and release as a whole.
They played "Luxtos" off that same album before playing what many consider their first "hit" song, "Inis Mona" which comes from their first US distributed album, "Slania". This song drew as many cheers as any of the night and invoked a sing-along before all things were said and done.
It was an amazing concert, as every Eluveitie show I have witnessed has been. This group of musicians really have a unique vibe and energy that is contagious to the audience. They easily remain one of my favorite bands to see live.
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