Record Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Release Date: April 5, 2019
Review by: Nick Licata
Not since 2008’s, Slania, have I experienced an Eluveitie album as solid as, Ategnatos. Three years ago when they had a “drastic” lineup change, I thought it would be the end of the Eluveitie that I had grown to love over the years. Sure they released Evocation II: Pantheon, since the change, but that was part two of a stripped down sound. I couldn’t judge the new members based off that, so I patiently awaited a new album with that heavy, Folk Metal sound. Enter Ategnatos.
When I first saw the cover of the album I was immediately hyped, for no reason other than it reminded me of the cover for my favorite Eluveitie album, Slania. I didn’t want to get my hopes up, thinking similar artwork/similar sound? Doing that will almost always set you up for disappointment. Now I had already listened to this album a few times, but it was on the way to Kansas City to see Hypocrisy and Fleshgod Apocalypse that the listen solidified my initial thoughts from first listen, “This reminds me of old Eluveitie!” Now, don’t get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong with newer Eluveitie, it was just cool to see a return to form, especially after a lineup change. Either way, it doesn’t take long for Ategnatos to kick your ass. Starting right off with the title track and songs like “Deathwalker,” “A Cry In The Wilderness” and “Threefold Death” (later on in the album) are sure to be fan favorites.
Ategnatos as all Eluveitie albums, puts great use to the non-traditional metal instruments, you know the ones, the Hurdy-Gurdy, and other celtic instruments. I never really thought I would enjoy music with such instruments, but they figured it out from the beginning and seeing it all live, HOLY SHIT, if you get to see these guys (and gals) live, just go, its a great fucking time. I have had the opportunity to see them three times in three different cities and its a blast every time! However, I digress, the album is without a doubt an Eluveitie album. I haven’t listened to it as much as some new releases, but it’s really difficult being a Devin Townsend fan and not listening to Empath at least once a day! That being said, there are a TON of great tracks off this album, as I already mentioned, this has been my favorite album to listen to since Slania. I often find myself lost in the album and then going back to songs and thinking ‘Holy Shit, how did I miss this one?’
It’s usually quite rare for me to not find flaws throughout an album, for a while I would glance over them because I was a young metal head and just loved not listening to the same old crap you hear on the radio, so everything was perfect. As time went by, I started to pick out songs here and there in albums that I could do without, and then I started weeding out some of the bands I used to love and moving on to bands with talent or that brought something else to the table. That was not the case with this album. Eluveitie not only brings something new to the table, but they have a talent in keeping everything interesting. From the harmonies between Frontman Chrigel and new clean vocalist Fabienne, the use of aforementioned Celtic Instruments and in songs like “The Raven Hill” where they close out the song in their native tongue and have you humming along even though you don’t know a lick of their language. . yeah that kind of shit takes talent! “The Silvern Glow” is a nice interlude that takes you into probably one of the catchiest songs on the album “Ambiramus” and being catchy isn’t even a bad thing, its one of the few songs with Fabienne taking more of the lead and has the feel of an Anneke van Giersbergen (The Gathering, Vuur) song with a folk twist.
Ategnatos has 16 tracks and clocks in right at an hour in listening time. With some bands these days, that’s a LOT of filler, but other than a few instrumental tracks, which help with the flow some of the best songs are toward the end of the album. “Mine Is The Fury,” “The Slumber,” “Worship” and the list goes on. I really enjoyed this album, it’s fun, Heavy, Folky and well you don’t have to take my word on it anymore, go to Spotify and check it out for yourself. But, I do urge you to purchase the album if you like what you’ve read or heard on any of the streaming platforms. I do hope they tour extensively on this album and hope to catch them at least once, as I bet these songs translate really well live, they won’t be in the US until the fall with Korpiklaani so if you are in one of the lucky cities below, go check em out!
RIYL: Trollfest, Månegarm, SuidAkrA, Heidevolk
North American Tour Dates with Korpiklaani:
Sept. 19 – Tampa, Fla. @ The Orpheum
Sept. 20 – Atlanta, Ga. @ The Masquerade
Sept. 21 – New Orleans, La. @ House of Blues
Sept. 22 – Houston, Texas @ White Oak Music Hall
Sept. 23 – Austin, Texas @ Come And Take It Live!
Sept. 24 – Dallas, Texas @ Gas Monkey Bar & Grill
Sept. 26 – Mesa, Texas @ Club Red
Sept. 27 – Los Angeles, Calif. @ The Regent
Sept. 28 – Oakland, Calif. @ Metro
Sept. 29 – Portland, Ore. @ Bossanova Ballroom
Sept. 30 – Vancouver, British Columbia @ Rickshaw Theater
Oct. 1 – Seattle, Wash. @ El Corazon
Oct. 3 – Denver, Colo. @ Summit Music Hall
Oct. 4 – Lincoln, Neb. @ Royal Grove
Oct. 5 – Minneapolis, Minn. @ Cabooze
Oct. 6 – Chicago, Ill. @ Concord Music Hall
Oct. 7 – Toronto, Ontario @ The Opera House
Oct. 8 – Ottawa, Ontario @ Brass Monkey
Oct. 9 – Montreal, Quebec @ Corona Theatre
Oct. 10 – Quebec City, Quebec @ Imperial Bell
Oct. 11 – Worcester, Mass. @ The Palladium
Oct. 12 – Reading, Penn. @ Reverb
Oct. 13 – Baltimore, Md. @ Baltimore Soundstage
Oct. 14 – New York, N.Y. @ PlayStation Theatre