Eluveitie – Joliet, IL 03/11/2023 at The Forge

Eluveitie returned to the greater Chicagoland area playing The Forge in Joliet, IL. Although I consider myself a big fan of Eluveitie I missed their last few visits to Chicagoland due to prior engagements. Because of this, this was my first time seeing the band with their new lineup. I didn’t know what to expect, but I very much enjoyed their performance. Although Lead Vocalist Chriegel Glanzmann’s was absent due to a family emergency the band opted to perform, and perform they did. Fabienne Erni lead the band with powerful vocals that stole the show and delivered one hell of a performance for her own birthday show. She was assisted on vocals by the very talented Adrienne Cowan from Seven Spires and Jukka Pelkonen from Omnium Gatherum who equally split up the parts by taking turns on stage from song to song and then coming together and both singing on the band’s final song of the evening, “Inis Mona” Not to focus only the vocals though as the whole band performed amazingly and gave the packed venue a phenomenal experience that many will not forget anytime soon.

Eluveitie – Evocation II – Pantheon

After major lineup changes beloved Swiss folk metallers Eluveitie is ready to release the new acoustic effort “Evocation II – Pantheon” which is the sequel to the acclaimed album “Evocation I – The Arcane Dominion”. Fans will certainly rejoice as this new album features a grandiose folk music journey inspired by Celtic mythology and carefully crafted with a wide array of traditional folk instruments.

It might be the use of the ancient extinct language Gallic instead of plain English but “Epona” really takes you back in time, preferably in the middle of a forgotten forest where magical instruments such as mandola, hurdy gurdy and bagpipe create radiant melodies surrounded by positive energy.

With “Nantosvelta” you are still stuck in the forest and a bit of melancholia takes over the whistles melodies but soon the rhythm gains more energetic dynamics with a solid series of strings passages and groovy drumming.

“Lvgvs” features darker enigmatic atmospheric vibes enhanced by Fabienne Erni’s spellbinding vocal delivery and the whole instrumentation bears a mystical power even when soft whistles & strings create memorable charming melodies.

Created as an invocation of the Helvetic battle god “Catvrix” is probably the darkest track on this album starting with borderline ominous chants and a majestic rhythm in contrast with Fabienne’s passionate luminous vocals.

On “Artio” Fabienne’s ethereal voice becomes the center of attention evoking an arcane chant style surrounded by graceful acoustic atmospheres.

Similarly “Esvs” feels particularly peaceful favoring soft arrangements elegantly crafted by gentle acoustic melodies but also holds a mysterious aura enhanced by soulful choirs.

“Tarans” picks up speed with entertaining multi-instrumental grooves in proper folk fashion and towards the end fiery chants add extra ancient folklore vibes.

Some listeners might not appreciate the lack of metal on “Evocation II – Pantheon” nevertheless Eluveitie delivers an excellent performance on this acoustic collection of songs that truly portrays the profound mystical nature of folk music.