In 2016, during the work on Evocation II: Pantheon, three members of Eluveitie leave the band. One of them was Anna Murphy, female vocals and real embellishment of the band. Nevertheless, the band continued to work on an album, the line-up was renewed and in August 2017 Evocation II: Pantheon was released. Now, almost two years later the band release their eighth album Ategnatos.
“‘Ategnatos’ is the Gaulish word for ‘reborn'”, explains Christian Chrigel Glanzmann. “To the sharpened mind, it points out the concealed long forgotten key to change and renewal.”
The band’s eighth album is solid, aggressive, but first of all it’s very consistent work. All the songs are linked strongly to the concept, but with this each song flow to another smoothly. There is no some rapid changes of music or mood. And if we’re talking about whole concept, it shown in an album greatly by its loop: the same motive in opener “Ategnatos” and the last song “Eclipse” connect the beginning and the end, making you to take a look on Ategnatos from a different perspective.
There are lots of catchy moments in an album, mostly because of folk instruments: whistles, fiddle, bagpipes, Celtic harp and hurdy gurdy, of course. The quintessence of it is “Abiramus” (which was missed only by a deaf reviewer). I won’t say a lot about it, but this “ear worm” can take on “The Call Of The Mountains” easily. The only lack of this song is that it’s criminally short: the finger gets tired from pressing “repeat” button.
At the same time, Ategnatos is heavy, fast paced and very aggressive album. There is a good balance between Death and Folk Metal in some songs (“Deathwalker”, “Black Water Down”, “The Raven Hill”), but also there are songs where Death Metal is definitely prevailing (“Mine Is The Fury”, “Threefold Death”).
However, it can’t be said that there is some spare instrument in every song. On the contrary, the music is very creative, arranged in a big way, but sounds very seamlessly. This always differed Eluveitie from lots of other “Folk Metal” bands, where folk component is one instrument, playing one short passage in a song. And I need to add that Eluveitie was always stood head and shoulders above all these bands that call themselves “Folk Metal” only because they have Celtic ornament in their logo.
On the whole, Ategnatos is an interesting, very thoughtful and greatly performed work. Maybe it’s not their best album (well, on the other hand, who can name their best album). But it’s not their weakest one and it will not disappoint you, for sure.
Ategnatos will be released on April, 5 via Nuclear Blast Records.