words and photos: Nathan Goldsworthy @odin.imaging
“As Eluveitie fused celtic folk with traditional death metal, whilst the crowd fused Céilidh with the traditional moshing and crowd surfing.”
Today was jammed packed with celebration! We celebrated democracy with a sausage, we celebrated world whiskey day with a tasting of some of Australia’s finest whiskeys and to top it off, I celebrated music with one of the worlds best folk metal bands, Eluveitie at The Croxton.
Female singer songwriters are rare in the metal community worldwide, and tonight Melbourne showcased two. Emily Highfield was first to take to a candlelit stage with her one woman dark folk project Suldusk. Her beautiful voice and haunting screams mixed perfectly with the acoustic post/black metal played by her and the band. I haven’t heard anything like this come from Australia, with my closest comparison being Agalloch.
With her debut album Lunar Falls dropping in April, and the vinyl selling out in presale (I was one of the many caught napping, and missed out) she is not only unique but proving very popular.
In only two short years since her debut single Monster was released, newcomer Victoria K has put some serious work into establishing herself as someone to look out for in the Metal scene. Ethereal, melodic vocals juxtaposed against heavy metal, Victoria K produces a sound not too dissimilar to that of Within Temptation and Evanescence. Unfortunately there was a technical difficulty during one song when powerhouse Sheri Vengeance of Black Like Vengeance, joined Victoria K and her mic was not on. An issue for those up the back, but for punters like myself close to the front, Sheri’s guttural screams could be heard OVER the band, what a legend.
Overall, Victoria K has a well developed sound, supported by operatic vocal skills and with the production of her upcoming solo album, I imagine she is one to watch.
Being a full 6 years, a complete lineup change and 3 albums since they last played to an Australian audience, Eluveitie had to reclaim territory from the abundance of bands who they heavily inspired.
As the lights dimmed, the crowd hushed to listen to the spoken intro as Eluveitie, one band member at a time, introduced themselves to the stage. As Chrigel Glanzmann, the last of the 8 on stage arrives they immediately charge into the title track from their latest album Ategnatos .
Seamlessly jumping through their last decade of music, Eluveitie smashed through the first handful of heavier songs before unplugging and getting the crowd dancing to some pure folk off their 2017 release Evocation II - Pantheon. This is where Fabienne Erni took the spotlight with her vocal performance.
Plugging back back in and turning everything back up to 11, The Croxton soon had waves of crowd surfers flowing back up to the barrier. Bagpipes, hurdy gurdy, Celtic harp, Violin, Mandolin and whistles were among the arsenal of the tallent before us as they syncronised their headbanging.
As Eluveitie fused celtic folk with traditional death metal, whilst the crowd fused Céilidh with the traditional moshing and crowd surfing.
Finishing on Inis Mona, the crowd drenched in sweat and beer sung along to the chorus with such enthusiasm it brought a smile to the whole band. Once again, Melbourne was a much better crowd than Sydney.