Eluveitie – “Live At Masters Of Rock” CD / 2LP (Nuclear Blast)
Battle Helm Rating
Releasing a critically acclaimed 8th album in “Ategnatos” earlier this year, acknowledging the power of their new line up, these Swiss folk metallers have gone for the kill in releasing their first live album recorded at the Masters Of Rock festival in the Czech Republic – and to say they are on fire is an understatement! Although not headliners, Eluveitie’s performance certainly feels like one given the amazing spirit and passion across the 16 tracks here, not to mention the rapturous crowd response and singalongs to the material taken from across the band’s discography going right back to 2008’s “Slania”. Opening smoothly with the flowing orchestrals to ‘Ategnatos’, the power is greeted by matching roars from the crowd as the dizzying mix of harsh vocals from founder Chrigel Glanzmann meld superbly with the delicate soprano wailings of Fabienne Erni amid the dancing hurdy gurdy of Celtic pipes and tin whistles – awesome! With the crowd charged and already jumping, the double bass drums on ‘King’ bring even more folk splendour as roars and pagan screams backed by pipes and gaita do their trick before the roar of the crowd moves the song into speed contrasted by hard chopping beats until returning to the ambience graced by Erni’s amazing soul. With the folk harmony in full flow on ‘The Call Of The Mountains’, passions are driven even higher on this hugely moving song as Erni’s highs and the hard rock emotion are bolstered by the full 9 piece band bringing in their harmonies, pipes and violins – only to be upstaged by the audience themselves, while the dancing pipe majesty on ‘Ambiramus’, along with its incredible groove, prove utterly irresistible to all as it sends everyone’s soul to the heavens. Mellowing on ‘Breathe’ but with no let up in the passion, crunching guitars contrast vividly with Erni’s angelic tones building up to the massive flowing chorus that is a guaranteed heart breaker while the closer of ‘Inis Mona’ with its rocking Celtic dance beat and catchy folk melodies are matched by the enthusiastic crowd in every sense, making this a truly special night for all involved. Definitely one of the performances that deserves to have been captured, “Live At Masters Of Rock” is another resounding success in Eluveitie’s history.