Posted by JBesanko92
Helvetios World Tour (Australian Leg)
(Melbourne, Billboard The Venue, 24/5/2013)
After more than a decade and five studio albums, Swiss folk metaller’s Eluveitie have finally made it down to Australian shores. As a part of the Australian leg for the Helvetios World Tour that the band has been conducting since early 2012, Eluveitie booked three separate shows in three states across Australia. Beginning with Brisbane, the band then flew down to Melbourne where they played for a more-than-eager group of fans at Russell Street’s own Billboard The Venue (a venue which steadily seems to be becoming the ‘place to be’ for extreme metal bands in Melbourne with groups such as Amon Amarth, Cradle of Filth, and Cannibal Corpse having played there, and Amorphis booked for an October show this year, as well).
After Decimatus and Orpheus Omega both warmed up the crowd, it was time for Eluveitie to take to the stage. Opening with the title track “Helvetios”, they were met by uproarious applause and a sea of horns. Notably, band member Patrick Kistler played a bagpipe that had an Australian flag attached to it, something which the crowd happily embraced.
It wasn’t long before everyone there was completely immersed in the Eluveitie experience. Front man and founding member, Chrigel Glanzmann, has an uncanny ability to engage a crowd. The metalheads were stuck on his every word, and gladly welcomed any opportunity he gave them to throw up the horns, chant, or just shout out to him. Like the mystic druids of old, Chrigel had them under his spell, and held them like that until the show ended.
Performing the Helvetios album in virtually its entirety, while you could tell that not everyone was as familiar with their latest full-length as their older material, it nevertheless didn’t quell the spirit of the crowd. The excellent musicianship and professionalism of Eluveitie cannot be praised enough. All members of the band performed to the best of their abilities, which is much more of an achievement when you consider Meri Tadic had fallen ill and wasn’t able to make it for the Australian leg of the world tour. But even with her absence, Eluveitie put on an incredible and memorable show.
One of the many highlights of the night was when the band performed “A Rose for Epona”. Anna Murphy’s vocals shone through and animated the crowd with a notable sway and lighters held high in the air. During the mid-section, she passed out roses to the people in the front row.
Before playing “Havoc” (their most recent single), Chrigel asked those in the mosh to start a circle pit which they happily obliged to. He then roared to the crowd, “Time to bring some havoc to this mother fucker!” Eluveitie then blazed through five more songs of pure folk metal goodness. Tin whistles blaring, bagpipes squealing, drums and guitars roaring, and Chrigel’s unmistakable growls made for one hell of a sea of Celtic folk metal that not only encompassed the venue, but ensorcelled the crowd.
The energy of the night never died down, and it only served to further heighten when Eluveitie reached their encore phase. Beginning with “The Liminal Passage” and “Otherworld”, the band then exploded into “Everything Remains As It Never Was” from the album of the same name. Followed by “Thousandfold”, the band then made a dedication to a couple celebrating their anniversary that’d travelled from Adelaide to see the band live in Melbourne. They dedicated the track “Quoth the Raven” to them. Closing the night with what is arguably their most well-known song, the crowd cheered in approval as Eluveitie trailed into “Inis Mona” with that familiar whistle-bagpipe intro.
As the band bowed their way out, a sea of heavy metal druids left Billboard The Venue with smiles planted on their faces, and the Gallic spirit in their heart.
Never Flick the Nipple