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A non-historian's take on this concept album
Helvetios is a Gaulish/Celtic tribe that used to inhabit the region of Gaul that is now Switzerland, and some of modern-day France. It tells the story of the Gaulish War from the perspective of this particular tribe.
1 - Prologue
It is years after the Gaulish War and an old man laments those terrible years, what he and his people endured, and how they remember.
2 - Helvetios
This song describes the rise of the Helvetians. How they became a distinct sect of people from other Gauls. It depicts some of their beliefs, their deities (Succellus, Ogmios, Bricta), and a bit of how their afterlife (Antumnos) plays a role in their lives.
3 - Luxtos
Luxtos portrays Helvetios for what they were: rich, free, wild, and strong. This is the calm before the storm, the so-called "golden age" as it was for them when life was about just living, being happy, and enjoying oneself.
4 - Home
This is an account of the time when the Romans were encroaching on Helvetios. The Gauls had to leave their home and find a new one to avoid being swept into war. On their journey they consider going back, but realize that just isn't possible and they must press on.
5 - Santonian Shores
Continuing from the previous song, Santonian Shores recounts another event as Helvetios flees the Romans drive them from their land, again. The storyteller looks back and sees his village burning as they wandered into the night in search of a safe haven, leaving their past lives behind.
6 - Scorched Earth
As the Helvetians travel onward, in search of a new home, they take a look back, the night sky colored red by the fires that was once their home.Read more ›
For Helvetios, the album as a whole is a journey, the story of the Helvetii - ancestors of the Swiss from Ancient Roman times - told from their point of view as they fought against the might of the Roman legions, as led by Caesar and as later documented by Caesar in his "Commentaries on the Gallic War". (Fun fact: 'Eluveitie' is derived from an early piece of graffiti meaning 'Helvetian'). The prologue and epilogue speak of war, and individual songs are named after battle locations and take the listener along the Helvetians' journey as they fight for a place to live, settle, and ultimately come to terms with their demise.
At its core, Helvetios is still very much Eluveitie.
Without getting into specifics of individual songs, Helvetios exhibits something of an evolution. A lot of people will be wary when reading that Eluveitie may have changed their style with this latest album, and upon first listen, the album may seem to be a bit disjointed, with rougher transitions than previous albums, and less folk melodies. While this is all somewhat true, given a few more listens from beginning to finish, and the genius in the way they've laid out the last journey of an extinct culture begins to rise beyond a slight unfamiliarity with the style.
It feels that Eluveitie is trying to tell a story first and foremost with this album, beyond even trying to make amazing music (which there is still quite a bit of).Read more ›
Eluvetie are the pinnacle of this brand of music, and the only one that gets away with the Cookie Monster vocals.
All of the band's icons are here, but it is held together with a story, where the main body of the music and songs are bracketted by two English language monologs, explaining briefly the presumptive meaning of their lives. These underline a great sense of loss, which we should mourn...or not.
In proper proportions, contemplation, melody, Klingon Rock-n-roll, and moments of rare beauty.
Mostly, it rattles along at a good lick, and overall does not ease back. There is much to maintain one's interest.
Easily this band's best work.
Hard to top. Masterpiece.
I encourage anyone who loves metal of any kind, give this album a chance. you will not be disappointed. It will open new doors to many different genres of metal for you.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good mix of Celtic and other musical instruments combined with a very heavy metal section. Love the snatches of conversation. Very nice album and highly recommended.Published 1 month ago by Tinygnat219
I wish I could erase my memory of this album so I could listen to it again for the first time.Published 5 months ago by Faramir
I purchased two one for my son (birthday) and one for me.
We both love it
Absolutely love this album. Recently discovered Eluveitie on YouTube and based on the videos available decided to get a couple CD's. Love both of them.Published 13 months ago by txmnj
Terrific folk metal, melodic death metal pagan metal whatever you may call it, I'm glad as heck I bought this album! Read morePublished 16 months ago by rockharder45