Swiss folk metallers, Eluveitie have released the first single from their new album. This is the title track, Ategnatos, from the album of the same name due April 5th via Nuclear Blast.
Check out the single and official video a bit further down.
It has been 2 years since Eluveitie released Evocation II: Pantheon, an album that signalled a lot of change for the Zurich based band. 3 members left, 5 members joined bringing with the a raft of new folk instruments to play and add to their already multi layered compositions. In 2019 there are officially 9 listed members of Eluveitie. Driving the band is founding member, Chrigel Glanzmann. Chrigel is on harsh vocals and acoustic guitar as well as a raft of folk instruments like the mandola, whistles, pipes, gaita and bodhran. Yep, I had to google some of them too.
On bass, since 2008 is Kay Brem while Rafael Salzmann is on lead guitars since 2012. Matteo Sisti is on bagpipes and tin whistle since 2014. Everyone else are more recent than that even joining in 2016/2017.On rhythm guitar it’s Jonas Wolf and on drums it’s Alain Ackermann. On the hurdy-gurdy it’s Michalina Malisz while on violin and backing vocals it’s Nicole Ansperger. Finally on clean vocals and the harp it’s Fabienne Erni. Wow!
Speaking about the new single, founder, vocalist and multi instrumentalist, Chrigel Glanzmann states – “So here it is, the first single off our new album (well, apart the ‘sneak peek’ you already got a year ago with ‘Rebirth’), being the title track itself. It’s the song off the album introducing you into the whole mental realm that is ‘Ategnatos’! Its message comes inconvenient maybe, challenging, evocative. This is a call from Antumnos!”
Ategnatos is just under 5 minutes long and plays out like a journey. The Swiss folk metallers certainly bring their A game on this first single. Prepare to be taken on a musical adventure starting with spoken word and building atmosphere through the use of folk melody and instruments with symphonic backing. Slow pounding drums, wind instruments, violins all weave a masterful web of sound before the guitars jump in to ramp up the tone and volume. Being fans of folk and power metal anyway, the symphonic backing, flute and guitars together is pure ear candy.
The track switches to a chunky riff with rough vocals for the verse. The second section of the verse sees the wind instruments return and the chorus sees the symphonic backing return alongside backing vocals. It creates a building, layered song as you progress through it. A nice folkish instrumental plays out with guitars backing the plethora of other instruments . One of those bouncing melodies that we get in folk that should get plenty of floor movement. The choruses that follow push the soundscape harder with a crescendo of instruments and vocals including some intensely beautiful female vocals through to the close.
Ategnatos is a cracking song from a supremely skilled band. The structure is amazing. The way it starts slowly and builds to a huge wall of sound with every instrument playing together in harmony is not new but still sounds great. Layers get removed for a more stripped back verse before gently being reapplied, flute, then symphony, then backing vocals to form a song that appears to be going through rapid changes of evolution while you listen. It takes a lot of talent to write a song this fluid and that alone deserves huge respect. Chuck in the catchiness, the chunky headbanger of a verse riff, the instrumental or the epic choruses and you have one hell of a song. Early days but off this evidence Ategnatos is shaping up to be something really special.
Download/stream Ategnatos from all the usual streaming platforms from here. You can preorder a copy of Ategnatos from Nuclear Blast, here. Keep up to date with Eluveitie at their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages by following the links.
Ategnatos by Eluveitie (Ategnatos)
The Final Score - 9/10