Eluveitie, Skalmold, Wind Rose // Fuzz Club, Athens, Greece // 13.02.2015

Folk metal is one of my favorite metal sub-genres, but sadly, here in Greece, we do not have many folk metal concerts every year. So, it was excellent news when it was announced the Swiss folk metal orchestra (if you take into account that we’re talking about 8(!) people on stage) of ELUVEITIE would return to Greece for the fourth time! This time they had along their side the crazy Viking/folk metal Icelanders SKALMOLD and WIND ROSE.

I had never heard about WIND ROSE, but what I saw was a band full of energy, high spirits and war-meets-fun attitude. Imagine something like SABBATON, yet more infused with the Northern spirit, if you catch my drift.

Due to an engagement backstage (ELUVEITIE fans, you’ll find out more about that soon), I was able to listen only 4 songs from their opening set. Those songs mixed melodic elements (like keyboards) with a sweaty and angry heavy metal approach, highlighted by some minor folk elements (like choir style gang vocals), all in good measure and fitting enough to warm up those that had been in the venue right from the start.

Once again I need to mention that what earned them the warm applause was predominantly the fact that they seemed to be having a whale of a time on stage, really energetic and happy with themselves just for playing a metal gig on a foreign land. That’s the spirit guys!


Now, if WIND ROSE were aiming towards a warm up, SKALMOLD came out aiming for a goddamn burnout! After the more down- to –earth sound of WIND ROSE, the down-in-the-sea-fighting-legendary-dragons sound of the Icelanders came like a thunder in a clear, sunny day. The three guitars showed mercy to no one, each one adding to the pile of ground shaking noise they built, a sound quite befitting to accompany the hot blooded and brutal, harsh vocals of Bjorgvin and Baldur.

The new songs like “Að Hausti” or “Að Vetri” (if I can recall correctly) were performed excellently, conveying purely and even more crushingly the essence of their new album, whereas older tracks like “Gleipnir” or the absolute star of their discography “Kvaðning” caused even more enthusiastic reactions from the crowd that really seemed to enjoy some (mild) good, friendly, violent fun.


Their power was incessant, sometimes even reminding a black metal act and every time Mr. Baldvinsson played a solo it was “welcome back to 80’s trash” time! Surprising anyone who might not had heard of them, they earned a wild applause and as they were leaving, the chant “SKALMOLD! SKALMOLD!” could be heard from quite a few mouths from the audience, perhaps as a request for an encore. We did not get an encore, but we definitely got to see why they are considered Iceland’s finest metal act along with SOLSTAFIR.

Then of course, it is time for ELUVEITIE. My god, aren’t they a lively bunch! So many musicians on stage, with so many different instruments, yet everything managed to sound distinctive and crystal clear and every instrument complemented each other, a band working like a Swiss clock (see what I did there?).

They start off with the pedal to the metal with the glorious “King”, followed up by the fan favorites “Nil” and “Thousandfold” and all around I can see havoc breaking out. The attendants are having a freakin’ party, dancing, singing, pushing and shoving and generally there is a festive feeling all around. That is pretty much the quintessence of a good folk metal show.


Every member is shining in their own way, but I can’t get my eyes off the violinist Nicole Ansperger. Every note she hits is essential and magically beautiful. Her instrument has this haunting mellow –yet powerfully epic when she wants- sound and it is as if she is talking to the violin and guiding it according her wishes rather than playing it; what a breathtaking performance indeed.

After “Sucellos” from their latest release, it is time for the other lovely lady of ELUVEITIE (Anna Murphy, who also plays the lovable hurdy gurdy) to take place under the spotlight and sing “Omnos” as well as the Swiss/German version of “The Call Of The Mountains”.


Up until that time, singing was of course the duty of Chrigel Glanzmann, frontman and mastermind of ELUVEITIE, who changed between singing with his harsh vocals to playing two different kinds of flute, to playing the harp and of course going up and down the stage and urging the crowd to participate and make noise (which of course we did); quite the leader on stage.

Their set portrayed great variety and versatility, jumping from more folkish moments to more metal ones and from old songs to recent ones (“The Nameless”, “Kingdom Come Undone”, “Carry the Torch”, “A Rose For Epona”). And of course “Quoth The Raven” was a real lose-your-shit moment since nobody really expected it, awesome choice!

Of course they saved the best for last, with “Helvetios” and mostly the monster hit “Inis Mona” producing an explosion of massive jumping, dancing and singing along all over the venue. The crystal clear sound, the fact that they chose not to bury the folk instruments under the guitars, yet give them the leading role on the show, their appetite for fun and communication, plus their absolutely professional performance and versatile setlist, all are elements that make me believe whoever was in Fuzz Club this Friday will definitely not miss the next appearance of ELUVEITIE in Greece!

P.S When it comes to SKALMOLD’s “Kvaðning”, do yourself a favor and search the web for: a) the video clip and b) this thing “Skálmöld & Sinfóníuhljómsveit Íslands – Kvaðning”. You won’t be disappointed. Cheers!

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Check S&D Photography for more photos.