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'The Early Years'
(Nuclear Blast)
Release Date: 17th August 2012



eluveitie the early years

So what's this - a second album from Eluveitie within the same year? Delve further into Celtic Folk Metal, past Viking Metal and you will find Pagan Metal, with this year seeing the band's 10th anniversary. With it, the band bring gifts of their latest studio effort, 'Helvetios', released earlier in the year (February 10th read the review here) and the soon to be released 'The Early Years', a two in one!

As the album title suggests, this compiles material from the band's early history featuring a modern re-recording of the entire rare first EP, 'Vên', and a remastered version of the band's debut, 'Spirit'.

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So let's start at the beginning. The six tracks of 'Vên' have been re-recorded to get a new dimension with the 2012 line-up, without losing any of the original and historical value. Unfortunately I'm unable to compare to the original material, which originally sold out within six months back in 2003, so I have to try and imagine what I might have thought hearing this back then.

After the fall out of Nu-Metal and the rise of Metalcore, how would Pagan Metal have faired? Well I do remember around that time Turisas emerging but not quite taking the world by storm, but personally I enjoyed it. So it's fair to say the Swiss may have made a small impression had they ventured past Gaul and Brittany.

'Verja Urit An Bitus' acts as an introduction leading to 'Uis Elveti', starting with a bit of rain, accordion and pipes swiftly kicking into chugs in a 3/4 beat.

Now I love a good chug; this one is quite a smooth chug rather than typically heavy or fast but is made so groovy with the time signature, until the accordion solo that is, picking up some pace and into 4/4. A quick acoustic breakdown and back into the main rhythm of the song... definitely give this track a listen with headphones as the panning is awesome.

'Oro' acts as an interlude between tracks, 'Lament' is a more heavy track with the Heavy Metal fiddle doing well to keep up and featuring a snippet of Black Metal towards the end. 'Druid' then starts in Black Metal mode before a complete 180 into folk acoustic and switching back again; what fun!

It even features a big sing along chorus with some death Meal stylings and a heavy breakdown. Finally, 'Jezaig', is a slow ending and pretty much an instrumental. On the original release I think it would have sit better as track five but as this version stands, it acts as a good barrier between sections.

Part Two: 'Spirit'

The first (title) track again acts as an introduction and again into 'Uis Elveti', which I guess is technically v2.5, (with the former being v3). I don't mind the same track being on the album twice, it's a pretty awesome track and it stands as an example to prove the differences from the early line-up to the modern.

Musically they pretty much can't be told apart but vocally the older version sounds a little dull and the modern version is much more vibrant, the female vocals in particular sounding far better.

'Your Gaulish War' displays band leader Chrigel Glanzmann's influence of melodic Death Metal whilst 'Of Fire Wind And Wisdom' briefly kicks off with death Metal then into a more heavy rock folk and you start to see at this point that where folk Metal can get pretty repetitive. Eluveitie manage to avoid this monotony by fusing elements of other styles. 'Aidu' even starts off with arabesque singing! Although at three minutes long it comes across as an acoustic interlude.

The rest of the album continues with these styles and influences, apart from 'Siraxta'. A massive change in style and tone, more like some kind of Mediterranean rock band!

'The Endless Knot' manages to fit in a bit of everything and easily done at a whopping seven minutes long, leaving the acoustic conclusion, 'An Dro'.

So for Eluveitie fans then there's no doubt that you should get this album and those who are fond of folk Metal but get easily bored, this could be the band for you!





Wacken Winter Nights 2018 takes place between February 23rd and 25th 2018 and the great news is that you can now experience a full-on, top class German Metal Festival easily and affordably.

It only takes an hour to fly to Hamburg from London and we've had longer journeys than that within the capital and they were certainly more expensive than the £33 air ticket that just appeared in our 'flights to Wacken Winter Nights' search.


Wacken Winter Nights is organised by the same team who are responsible for the world's greatest Metal festival, Wacken-Open-Air and the 2018 bill includes Skyclad, Orphaned Land, Elvenking, Finntroll, Grave Digger, Aeverium, Comes Vagantes, Coppelius, Corvus Corax, Die Pressgëng, Elvellon, Heimataerde, Hell-O-Matic, Ignis Fatuu, Ingrimm, Irdorath, Johnny Deathshadow, Krayenzeit, Letzte Instanz, Mr Hurley und die Pulveraffen, Pampatut, Pat Razket, Schandmaul, Sündenrausch, The Aberlour's, The Moon And The Nightspirit, Torfrock, Visions Of Atlantis, Vroudenspil, Wind Rose and more.

Besides this rich billing of superb Metal bands, there is so much more to see in the festival area including the medieval market and also the walking acts and jugglers you will meet at the theme worlds, including Robert Blake, three-time World Cup winner of street magic.

Wacken Winter Nights is something not to be missed and you can check out the amazing ticket and accommodation prices right here.

We just priced up the whole four day trip with hotels, flights, shuttles and festival tickets for less than £300 and we don't think you will get a better value festival than that, anywhere.


MetalTalk recently sat down with Wacken founder and owner Thomas Jensen and that interview will be online next week and it's a fascinating insight into how Wacken originated from nothing to become the world's premiere Heavy Metal event.


Wacken 2018 takes place from 2nd to 4th August 20218 and as with Wacken Winter Nights, if you have never experienced all it has to offer, then you owe it to yourself to remedy that.

Already announced for Wacken 2018 are Judas Priest, Nightwish, Running Wild (exclusive), Arch Enemy, Dirkschneider, Doro (Special Anniversary Show), In Extremo, Sepultura, Amorphis, Amaranthe, Firewind, W.A.R., Belphegor, Mantar, Knorkator, Deserted Fear, Watain, Night Demon, Epica, Knorkator, Belphegor, Firewind, Deserted Fear and many more and we'll have more Wacken 2018 announcements during December.

As well as being the greatest Heavy Metal festival in the world, it is without a doubt the Mecca of Metal and the one thing that every single person who loves our music should have on their bucket list.

For 2018, MetalTalk have joined forces with Wacken-Open-Air to help you get to Wacken easily and inexpensively and you can peruse the ticket and travel options right here.

If you are interested in going to Wacken 2018 and have questions, please fill out the form below and we will contact you with answers to all your enquiries. You are under no obligation whatsoever by filling this form out. We won't add you to any mailing lists or send you loads of spam - all we will do is help you get to Wacken as easily and inexpensively as possible.



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