For some reason, I seem to highly enjoy songs not sung in a language I speak.  I think it may be the fact that I let the music put its own meaning behind the words that are being sung and I allow myself to make my own interpretation of the song without the writers words, only his/her emotions, hinting me in the direction of their intended meaning.  Such is the case with such bands as Moonsorrow(who sing in Finnish) which make images of ancient battles being fought on the icy plains and frozen mountains of Scandinavia dance in my mind, or Finntroll’s singing in the Swedish language, which will always be a silly sounding language to me thanks to the Swedish Chef, which brings thoughts of drunken trolls marauding through the countryside leaving mischievous destruction in their wake, or even Korpiklaani’s upbeat use of the Finnish language(ya, I like Scandinavian bands) which make me think of a bunch of medieval farmers and woodworkers hanging out at the pub and enjoying a few pints of beer or mead and singing and dancing.  Other than maybe a couple of liner notes in the CD booklet, I’m pretty much in the dark on the themes and meanings of the lyrics of said bands, and I am quite happy letting my imagination override the areas I am ignorant in.  Now, onto Eluveitie’s Evocation I: The Arcane Dominion.

Eluveitie’s Evocation I: The Arcane Dominion is a huge departure from Eluveities traditional sound.  They decide to take the mystical and earthen parts with them and leave the heaviness and everything else home.  The outcome is something quite special and unlike anything I have ever heard before.  From the second the albums starts I am transported into a magical world inhabited by mystical shamans, lost warriors, and traveling lovers all surrounded by a beautiful and dark otherworldly forest.  The music from most of the songs is quite somber and entrancing, but at the same time beautiful and thought provoking.  Traditional folk instruments are used delightfully alongside instruments such as the hurdy-gurdy and shamanic drums.  Enhancing the magic that the instruments create is the wonderful use of old tomes and texts, which are about 1600-2100 years old, from Gaul that are used on the entire album(with the exception of the first song “Sacapos”, which is spoken in English).

The Gauls, were people who inhabited the region known as Gaul (Cisalpine and Transalpine) from the Iron Age through the Roman Period. Their language, Gaulish, was historically spoken through what are now northern Italy, France, Switzerland, Eastern Belgium, Luxembourg and Western Germany before being supplanted by Vulgar Latin and various Germanic languages from around the 4th century AD onwards.(thanks Wikipedia).

What this language adds to the music is a deeper sense of mysticism, connection to nature and an aged feeling to the entire album.  And given there is no real way to translate Gaulish into any modern language perfectly, we are left with just the emotions and basic themes that Eluveitie, along with some language specialists, were able to translate into musical form to allow us to wrap our imaginations around.

I highly recommend this album to fans of any type of music.  It’s a unique experience that I believe can be enjoyed by anyone, and even more by someone with a grand imagination.  I’ll leave a few videos to tracks which I highly enjoyed, but do yourself a favor and purchase and listen to the entire album.  You will get a much richer and complete experience hearing the album as a whole instead of a few tracks.