Just listened in into the latest album by Eluveitie called "Helvetios".
So ... it does sound nice. But nothing more. Very "tralalala" sound.
No song peeks out, but also no song is exactly on a very low level .. but still: Disappointing.
After their last album, which I personally see as their worst one, I excepted the next album to be at least a bit better ..
.. which is indeed is. But compared to the quite strong competition, it lacks a lot. Esp. really strong moments.
There is only that peaks out of the masses, which is "Luxtos", mostly because of the catchy chorus and hooks. But it also reminds me of their sound of a few years ago .. uhm .. "Spirit" album and before. Sadly. Which then again reminds me somehow of current and "back in time" Metallica, too.
What generally gets pretty much on my fucking balls is the "standard scheme" that's applied to each and any song: Melodic death metal guitar riffs, some pipes that go teedelee-doo all the time, death metal shouts, and sometimes we even got the Within Temptation-female singer touch, sometimes even an ugly Metalcore male/female singer ... thingy. Urgh.
This mixture might work out well on stage, but even after the third and fourth spin of the album, it tends to bore me.
Three random, but way more compelling and stronger picks out of the competition (in no particular order):
- Arafel - "For Battles Once Fought" - the basic components are the same, but there are very strong and good songs, some differenciation, and their music is not that extremely raffled and "compressed", for lack of a better expression, as the one of Eluveitie. Maybe it's also because of maxed out number of songs by Eluveitie - Arafels' album consists of "just" 8 songs, which do not blend well into each other. But that's also what makes this album interesting and tasty (at least for a music maniac like me :D)
- Arkona - "Slovo" - has got all that what Eluveitie seem to have thrown overboard since their (IMHO strongest) "Spirit" album PLUS the advantage of being of russian heritage and thus an extremely complex historical background (just remember: the Sowjet Union was one of the most multi-national country pattern ever), which adds yet another few layers to the already damn good (mix of) sound. Also, the mentioned album is much more ... focused .. and even-tempered
- Svartsot - "Maledictus Eris" - their last few albums were a bit more on the .. well .. "happy folk metal" side, but this one sounds very grown up, although still inheriting all the well-known treats that make up the attractiveness of Svartsot. Although their focus is way more into "happy folk metal", this album is still much stronger compared with the current of Eluveitie. Once again, it does NOT sound so compressed and stapled together like "Helvetios", so that all and every listener of Folk / Celtic / Pagan / Whatever-Category Metal will be happy. Guess there are a few disappointed souls who dislike the current Svartsot album .. I'm not one of them thou.
Overall, a nice album, but nothing really remarkable or standing out. Might work out better live, but even then it's a pretty weak release.
In terms of scoring, points, marks and such categorizing shit, it'd give it a 60%.