ALBUM OF THE WEEK: Eluveitie - Helvetios

Swiss group Eluveitie has put out a record in 2012 that showcased some of the grander brand of folk metal in today's scene called "Helvetios." The way this album is laid out is in some sort of a story, indicated by the monologues of the "Prologue" and "Epilogue" tracks by English actor Alexander Morton centering around a weary man revisiting his past about music and warfare. This really helps in making the music more engaging. But most importantly, the music itself is engaging. Energetic, melodic, and heavy are proper words to describe this album's collection of tracks fusing European folk instrumentation with melodic death metal. Whether the songs are fast-paced, hearty and invigorating (Helvetios, Luxtos, Havoc) or easier and more emotional tracks (A Rose for Epona, The Scorched Earth, Hope), Eluveitie has it all covered, unleashing a diverse and very enjoyable creature. The only real problem is that the album is a tad lengthy, stretching to almost twenty songs, but there is so much to take pleasure in in this release that this shortcoming can be overlooked rather easily. "Helvetios" is a stellar album highly recommended for the folk metal fans out there.