Eluveitie

Live at the House of Blues in

Los Angeles, California

April 08, 2010

Eluveitie just released their newest album “Everything Remains as it Never Was” right before this tour and I am glad I had a chance to familiarize myself with it before seeing them live because it is their best release to date and got me very excited for their concert.

I saw Eluveitie play the first Pagan Fest a few years back and was quite impressed with their music style and stage presence. They have since had a few roster changes which at the time I was concerned about but the changing of the guard has only proven to strengthen the band, especially in their song writing on the new album.

Between “Slania” and "Everything Remains", they put out a medieval acoustic album, “Evocation I - The Arcane Dominion”, which was really great and featured more of the women in the band handling vocals. The newest release goes back to their metal heaviness but with a stronger presence from the women vocally and I think it works really well having them complement Chrigel’s harsh vocals.

My favorite song of theirs so far is “Quoth the Raven” so I was very happy when they did this one live. It has the perfect mix of harsh male vocals, melodic female vocals, great guitar riffs and lots of medieval instrumentation, utilizing everything from the hurdy gurdy and fiddle to lutes, lyres and bagpipes.

“(Do)minion” and “Thousandfold” off of "Everything Remains” were also fantastic live. They did a number of songs off of “Slania” such as “Bloodstained Ground”, “Inis Mona” and “Slania’s Song”.

They did not do any of their acoustic material this time around, which I missed a little but seeing that they were opening for Amon Amarth this tour, it was a fitting choice to keep it heavy.

With eight musicians on stage there was always a lot to look at and enjoy in their performance. They utilize dual guitar players, Ivo and Sime, bass played by Kay, and Merlin on drums from the standard tools of the trade and then supplement it with their fiddle player, Meri and their hurdy gurdy player Anna who both share female vocal duties depending on the song. They also have Pade playing their various pipes but the lead singer Chrigel will pull out pipes or a mandolin from time to time as well.

Hailing from Switzerland, they have a slightly different take on the Pagan style music than many of their tour mates who mainly come from Scandanavian countries like Sweden and Finland. Eluveitie's music and lyrics are predominantly about the Gauls and the history of the mainland body of Europe which is a nice change from the Viking lore which is so popular right now.

The audience responded really well to Eluveitie despite many of the people having not encountered them before. I was wearing my “Slania” shirt in support for them and after they left the stage I got stopped at least a dozen times with people asking me how to pronounce the name and where they are from which was cool to see what a big impression they left on the uninitiated

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