Eluveitie Helvetios

Eluveitie Helvetios

Eluveitie are a folk metal act based in Winterthur, Switzerland, with strong Celtic influences. Helvetios is their fifth full-length studio album and first concept release. Most of their lyrics are in Gaulish, officially an extinct language. Eluveitie maintain a revolving line-up of anywhere between eight and ten musicians, performing live with a variety of folk instruments, including tin whistles, bagpipes and hurdy-gurdies. Violin is also featured prominently in their sound. The narrative of Helvetios chronicles the history of the Helvetians and their role in the Gaulish War, which took place in Europe between 58 to 50 B.C., during the height of the Roman Empire. The Helvetians where a Celtic tribe that occupied the Swiss plateau and they were ultimately defeated when the Romans finally invaded and conquered Gaul. The band's moniker, Eluveitie, is the Gaulish word for Helvetian, so it's clear that they're attempting to dig deeper into the culture that inspires their music and songwriting. The historically rooted story arc of the album is gripping, capturing the listener right from the spoken word intro, "Prologue." The narrative is one of struggle and defeat, standing up to a much more powerful enemy, and the soaring, inspiring instrumentation is the perfect accompaniment. "The Uprising" is incredibly powerful and it's easy to get swept along by its compelling imagery. These are songs of war, of resistance, rebellion, strength and loss. The defiance is balanced with regret and the emotional pitch of the album is spot on. This is unquestionably Eluveitie's strongest release, and an exceptional piece of folk metal as well. (Nuclear Blast)