The year is 1888, the island of Obsidian serves as a refuge for free thinkers …
Folk metal masters Eluveitie return with their eight studio offering, an ambitious, curious creation they’ve called Ategnatos.
The album arrives after 2017’s release Evocation II: Pantheon, itself a long-awaited conclusion to part one, The Arcane Dominion, released ten years ago, if you can believe that. Extensive history of the Zurich metalheads aside, does Ategnatos live up to the rip-roaringly beautiful melodies and the bolstered retelling of mythical wonders that its predecessors do? Hmm …
Ategnatos embraces the mayhem of mysticism, without being incoherent or impersonal.
Focused heavily on the concept of archetypes and how they should be embraced in life, Ategnatos embraces the mayhem of mysticism, without being incoherent or impersonal. In fact, this is likely the band’s most personal album yet, and the intricacies of emotional attachment to what Celtic folklore lays down is evident.
The vocals are sublime, the addition of harpist and clean vocalist Fabienne Erni to the line-up a good decision. The power in her voice lends an almost gothic darkness to the familiar riffing of Eluveitie. Indeed, the chorus work in the album’s title track and Rebirth and Eclipse offers harmonic texture that softens up the edges of the otherwise volatile metal foundations.
Ategnatos is a mix of the bold, the brutal, and the beautiful, making it a challenging listen–but give it your full attention, allow yourself to be taken over by the kaleidoscope of sensations and emotions both audible and in your own imaginings, and you’ve got another pretty strong offering from the undefeated masters of the genre.
STANDOUT TRACKS: Ambiramus, Rebirth, Trinoxtion
STICK THIS NEXT TO: Einsiferum, Finntroll, Insomnium