|5. Santonian Shores||03:58|
|6. Scorched Earth||04:18|
|7. Meet the Enemy||03:46|
|9. A Rose for Epona||04:26|
|11. The Uprising||03:42|
|13. The Siege||02:45|
|Bonustrack (Digipack Edition)|
|18. A Rose for Epona (Acoustic Version)||03:49|
|Total playing time||59:16|
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Crítica @ Crinn
(Almost) Everything Remains as it was in the previous album....which is just what I needed.
As far as the sound of everything on the record, it sounds almost EXACTLY like their 2010 album. Not necessarily a bad thing, but don’t expect the instruments to sound any different than Everything Remains. Probably a difference that sound nerds would notice is that this album has a butt-ton more bass than Everything Remains. As well as that, the majority of the music sounds just like Everything Remains. Here’s why I don’t consider this a bad thing: it’s perfectly fine if a band makes two albums in a row that have the same sound as long as the THIRD album sound different. There is such a thing as too much change because it kind of makes it hard to keep up with. I actually like it when bands release two albums in a row that have the same basic sound…but only if the sound is AMAZING.
And the sound IS amazing! The musicians seem to have improved their instrumental and technical skills to make the music sound more complex. That’s the biggest twist this album has that sets it apart from all the previous ones; this album is one of their more technical releases. And yes, I know that there are other songs from previous albums that are very fast and very technical; but as an album in its whole, Helvetios seems more complex, especially in the folk instruments. That’s another thing I forgot to mention! The folk instruments aren’t in the background anymore!! Instead, they’re either right beside the guitars or in the very front of the line next to the vocalist. And speaKing of that Swiss, folk-loving metal vocalist with the super-long dreads; his vocals have improved dramatically (and I thought he had reached perfection in Everything Remains!).
Remember that one song from Everything Remains, Quoth the Raven, where the female violinist sang and even let out an ear-splitting scream? Well guess what, apparently the band liked that and decided to put her singing in most of the songs on Helvetios. If you want a text description of what her SCREAMS sound like, they sound a hell of a lot like Lacey from Flyleaf (whose screams are phenomenal). As far as individual songs go, I’m not going to go into TOO much depth because I want you to get the damn album. BUT, if you were to ask me my favorites, at the moment my favorites are the second and third tracks; but all of the songs are amazing! I would give this album 19/20.
Crítica @ heavymetaltribune
would have been nice to see the band revert back to the style they had created on albums like Slania and Spirit instead
This year marks the release of the band's follow up to Everything Remains As It Never Was with Helvetios, and out of nostalgia's sake I decided to have a listen to the album. The epic and heroic feel that the band has always incorporated in their music is still present, first with the dramatic spoken introductory track, Prologue, sounding like the narrating of the opening chapter of the album and this definitely helps in building the anticipation for the journey that is to come. As title track Helvetios begins, the familiar folk instrumentations and arrangements immediately greet the listener, building the tension in the air. First listens certainly sound good, and there is the potential that the band has returned to their original form or even better, with the smooth progression of the tracks, and the perfect fusion of brutality through the gruff, death vocals and the melodies that the folk instruments provide.
Some of the most charming moments on the album are the heavy usage of folk elements compared to the previous release, and this is certainly a welcome move considering this was what made Eluveitie such an enjoyable band personally in the first place. The usage of the female vocals also add a nice dynamic and contrast to the gruff lead vocals, and the singing style gives a somewhat tribal feel to the music as well, instantly transporting the listener into the middle of a battlefield, and it is these folk elements that help to make the music catchy and keep the listener constantly interested.
Unfortunately, the band falls in terms of the metal instrumentations. The downtuned guitar, the beefy tone of the guitars and the chugging style that the band constantly utilises throughout the album may sound refreshing and suitably aggressive at first, but as the album drags on it almost starts to sound somewhat nu-metallish, and this particular so if one imagines the songs on the album without the folk instruments, especially on tracks like Helvetios. In fact, removing the folk instrumentations on the album, Helvetios would probably come across as yet another of those uninspired melodic death metal records, with the flat-sounding guitars and the boring riffs that are filled almost solely with power chords and little innovation attempted.
As already mentioned, the saving grace of Helvetios are the brilliant folk and acoustic arrangements that are present on the album. While I am all for bands attempting progress in their musical styles, in such an instance it would have been nice to see the band revert back to the style they had created on albums like Slania and Spirit instead. That said though, this album is still an improvement over the band's previous output, Everything Remains As It Never Was and is perhaps a step in the right direction for Eluveitie once more.
Crítica @ Panzerjager
Interesting, Fresh and Mature
Helvetios is the first concept album by Eluveitie. It tells the story of the Gaulish Wars (around 50-60 BC) from the perspective of the Gaulish people. So we get a new light on this historic event because the main source was Caesar's De Bello Gallico which was the story from the conqueror's eyes and De Bello... Had quite some anti-Gaulish propaganda in it. The story told in this album is interesting and refreshing but not always understandable for those without the historical background. This album gets a big yes for story and content.
Now the music: I have to disappoint the people who expected a very folky album. Where the folk instruments of Meri, Pade, Anna and Chrigel often were fighting with the guitars on Slania and Nothing Remains...., here are the folk instruments used in a more mature way and more in the background during the verses. Flutes and the hurdy-gurdy still offer a base line ( bourdon, in music terms) in the music but the real folk intermezzos are more common. This makes the group sound more professional. If you compare this to the chaotic nature of Spirit, you can see the band has grown alot.
The pace is quite high during the whole album, after a short intro, the pace is set with Helvetios and this continues on during the whole album. The gas pedal is released a little on A Rose for Epona , Scorched Earth Alesia and on the instrumental tracks Hope and Tullianum. I have the impression the album rushes in front of me and has ended before I expected it. Another highlight is Anna Murphy: we knew she did vocals on the past albums ( Slania's song, Omnos, Quoth the Raven, Brictom...) but during this album she shows that she can handle even more and harder vocal duties. In A Rose... She sings well in English during the whole song, in Alesia she invokes the dreadful misdry from the women of Alesia while she screams along with Chrigel on The Siege and Meet the Enemy.
I've been very positive on this album and with reasons. I had been afraid of an Eluveitie concept album but this has shattered any doubts. Helvetios is a great album, full stop. Weaker points? Perhaps the need for a historical background to appreciate it as a whole, maybe the long play time which may be a test for some.
I can conclude this review by saying -again- that this album's great and I like it a lot. I recommend it to everybody who's interesed in this band.