Eluveitie – Bierkeller, Bristol, 16/11/14

Skálmöld
Skálmöld

Until very recently, the only time Iceland, Russia and Switzerland joined forces was to ensure the United Kingdom continued their miserable run of form in the Eurovision Song Contest; tonight is a different matter entirely. No politics, no international relations on the line, just a good old fashioned three band-bill on the last night of what has been a very well received tour.

What is also well received is the venue’s license to allow entertainment until 4am; due to a missed ferry the bands arrived late to the venue causing all stage times to be pushed back by half an hour. Soundcheck problems pushed it back even further so that doors finally opened at 8pm with the headliners due to finish well past midnight. Thanks to an early start at the day job for yours truly (along with a twelve hour shift to look forward to), this scuppered a planned interview and the chance for me to stay to the end.  That being said…

All feelings of annoyance were quickly forgotten when Skálmöld (8) took to the stage. Lively, heavy and supported by a smattering of fans who know their material, it’s the perfect remedy for anybody worrying about having very little sleep before starting work the following morning, with Árás’ from Baldur getting a huge response and setting the tone for the rest of their set. Even the drumkit falling apart after the opening number can’t diminish the huge smiles from thier faces.

Arkona
Arkona

By contrast, there are few smiles from Arkona (8) frontwoman Maria Arkhipova, purely because her stage prescence was so formidable that any form of happiness would have spoilt her intimidation. Utterly terrifying and with a scream to rival Angela Gossow, she lead the Russian quintet through an hour of brutality that saw the first pits of the evening ignite and the audience get louder with each song. A huge impression made on the majority of punters.

And so, to Eluveitie (9). Maybe the stress of the trip down had given them an extra bit of fire in their belly, because from the moment they kicked into ‘King’ it was a tour de force of folk metal bliss. Playing a large amount of material from new album Origins along with a few fan favourites, nothing was going to stop them destroying the Bierkeller stage until it was little more than dust and splinters. New songs like ‘From Darkness’ and ‘The Nameless’ (the latter playing host to a very impressive Wall of Death) stood side by side with ‘Thousandfold’ and ‘Kingdom Come Undone’ as equals in the relentless barrage of top quality music. Best of all though is ‘Call of the Mountains’ or, as it is known tonight,  ‘De Ruef Vo De Bärge’ after the crowd voted for female singer and hurdy gurdy player Anna Murphy to sing in Swiss-German as opposed to English. Murphy herself is a fantastic singer and complimented Chrigel Glanzmann’s gutteral screams perfectly – it’s easy to see why she’s just released her own solo album.

Upon completion of  ‘The Silver Sister’, with six songs to go, I had to take myself away from the mayhem and travel back home. Whilst still annoyed that I couldn’t see the rest of thier set which included ‘Havoc’ as main set closer and ‘Helvetios’ and ‘Inis Mona’ as an encore, I left with a smile. Eluveitie should be a lot bigger than they actually are, and tonight proved that beyond doubt.

Eluveitie setlist:
Origins

Eluveitie
Eluveitie

King
Nil
From Darkness
Carry The Torch
Thousandfold
AnDro
Sucellos
De Ruef Vo De Bärge
Omnos
The Nameless
Inception
Kingdom Come Undone
The Silver Sister
Vianna
A Rose for Epona
Quoth the Raven
Havoc
—–ENCORE—–
Prologue
Helvetios
Inis Mona
Epilogue

Photo’s by Jurga Kalinauskaitė shot at Glasgow Eluveitie concert.

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About Elliot Leaver

PlanetMosh's resident Iron Maiden fanboy and Mr. Babymetal. Also appreciates the music of Pink Floyd, Rammstein, Nightwish, Avenged Sevenfold, Slipknot and many others. Writing to continue to enjoy life away from the stresses of full-time employment.
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