It’s not often you get to see a show that puts on display the breadth of styles in a genre in metal, but here we are. Each band on this bill put on a display of the different influences you can match up with death metal (specifically on this bill) to make a wildly different sound than the band before it. This was the Eluveitie (pronounced eh-loo-VAY-tee), Omnium Gatherum, and Seven Spires set at the Majestic in Detroit a few weeks ago.
Opening the show were the theatrical death metal act Seven Spires, a four piece act coming at us all the way from Boston. They have a very unique take on metal, a theatrical sound with heavy Disney-soundtrack vibes combined with blast beats and harsh blackened death vocals, all coming from Adrienne Cowen, a woman whom you aren’t sure how she can sing both harshly and cleanly in alternating vocal lines and pull it off so well. For such intricate music, they pull it off beautifully. The only downside with their live sound, and especially given the bands they share the stage with, there’s no keyboardist, so all keyboard tracks are pre-recorded. Also unfortunately, their setlist is short, 30 minutes, and only 5 tracks. But, opening with the title track from their last album Gods of Debauchery and closing with Dare to Live off the same album, they bring a lot of energy to the stage, and win the crowd over as best they can with such a short set.
Up next is perhaps the oddball for this particular bill, Omnium Gatherum. The odd thing is perhaps they are the most straightforward death metal act on this stage tonight, six Finns bringing a melodic bent, mixing a hint of odd time signatures and heavy keyboards with brutal death metal vocals. Their set is relentlessly heavy from back to front, firing off frequent circle moshpits from the death metal faithful in the middle of the crowd. Like Seven Spires before them, their vocalist Jukka Pelkonen alternates clean and harsh vocals, and their keyboardist, a big burly Finn named Aapo dwarfs his single keyboard, but their twin guitar act carries the day, slashing through the dark venue and leaving a mass of satisfied metal listeners in their wake.
Their set is about 60 minutes long on the dot, and they play a nice mix of 9 tracks across all of their albums, including their newest, Slasher, and 3 off of Origins, which was released in 2021. There were several highlights on the night, but Reckoning and Slasher, two of their newer tracks back-to-back in the middle of the set, were equally outstanding.
Finally,closing out were the headliners, the Swiss folk metal band, Eluveitie. Eluveitie is somewhat unique in that they bring a substantial number of folk instruments with them: a violinist, hurdy-gurdy player, a heavy dose of wind instruments (recorders, piccolos, tin whistles, a harpist, and bagpipes). They bring in a heavy dose of Celtic folk melodies and intersperse them with crushing guitar and black/death vocals. About half of their lyrics are in ancient Gaulish, which adds even more eccentricity to an already eclectic mix.
Unfortunately for them, they have had to tour the US without their bandleader, vocalist and wind-instrumentalist (flute, recorder, piccolo) Chrigel Glanzmann, who had to stay behind in Switzerland for an extended family emergency. This left the band without their harsh vocals,
and thankfully Adrienne and Jukka were able to step in and help out with that, and Fabienne Erni has been up to the charge of taking a large part of the band’s set. The band also aimed the set more in line with the band’s folk side of things during the first half of the set, playing three tracks off of the band folk-only albums: Epona, Lvgvs, and Omnos.
Lest we forget that its a metal show, they did not forget to crank it up, playing some of their best and heaviest tracks out of their catalog, Deathwalker off of Ategnatos, King off of Origins, and Thousandfold off of Everything Remains, and for each heavy song the floor erupted into a massive mosh-pit every time, bringing the energy off the charts. They closed out the show with by far their biggest and most popular song, Inis Mona, bringing out both Adrienne and Jukka to sing with Fabienne for a big finish.
All in all, an amazing show, it had been nine years since Eluveitie had been in Detroit. One hopes that . One hopes that it won’t be nine years before they return!