Eluveitie is about more than just a celtic-metal musical hybrid, they are right into the history of the Celts, and even some of their lyrics are in Helvetic Gaulish. Their name "Eluveitie" means "I am the Helvetian". The Celtic aspect is quite a large part of the music too, this should be no surprise, seeing as they love their Celtic history so much.
I'd say V"n is celtic music with a metal influence, rather than metal with celtic influence. It's a great mix, and for a debut EP, things are looking very promising for the future of Eluveitie.
The instruments on V"n are: Guitar, drums, bass, death vocals and occasional backup vocals
Tin Whistles, Uilleann Pipes, Hurdygurdy, Helvetic Bagpipes, Bouzouki, Bodhr"n, Fiddle, Irish Flute, and more...
Ok, its only 6 songs and 24 mins long, so track by track should be easy enough.
D'v"ri" Ag"ge D'bitu
introduces the general sound of the album. The folk feel, a darkness grows over the song with the Helvetic Gaulish chanting and the skin drums, then the vocalist yells and a simple metal bit fires up out of it. The melodic fiddle and horns add so much complexity to balance the simple guitar/drums.
opens with a short Celtic intro, then with what seems like a war cry, the metal edge shows up in a rather stompy fashion. Death vocals in the Helvetic Gaulish language, all the while the celtic instruments are there. There's good dynamics and variation within the music, and it just sounds really good.
is a quiet instrumental piece, mainly with slow Bagpipe improvisation in the first half. Then a jews harp (boing sound) starts the second half, which carries on a fast-ish fiddle line with bagpipe backing, which is soon joined by acousit guitar. A short pause, and then...
, the savage follow on from Or". The musical intro is the same as where Or" stopped, but in metal form, while retaining the fiddles. Some really cool fiddle work on this track makes me think of a dance (or Jig) around a fire. There's a cool middle bit with some slap bass, and a bit of black metal soon after that. That great fiddle line returns, and makes it also for a good sudden ending.
is the only track with strong black metal influence (a lot of celtic metal bands take on the black metal aspect of the music), so it may be a good starting point if that is what you're expecting. There are quite a few soft bits throughout the song too, just to break up the intensity. It's probably the first example of some black metal that I found listenable.
is another instrumental, it's quite slow, and the heaviest bits aren't very heavy at all, it makes a good closing song.
I think V"n would be quite easy to listen to, it might be a good stepping stone for people not used to more extreme vocals and music. It would also be a stepping stone away from traditional metal sounds, and yet another stepping stone towards Celtic music.
The songs are all written well, the flow within and between songs is great. The music writing would have been a big job considering all the instruments used, while allowing a fusion of the energetic Celtic melodies and chunky metal without compromising very much from either. I really enjoy all of the music on offer. The production is also pretty good, for the most part, instruement volumes are nice and even. It eliminates a focus point, both musical aspects stand out equally
It's probably not something for everyone, with the extreme bits and all, but there's always room for consideration. I'd say it deserves at least 9/10.
[url]http://www.eluveitie.ch/[/url] - for history, background, song samples, and plenty of other stuff you might want to know about the band and also the Helvetians.