Swiss folk-metal band Eluveitie incorporate folk instrumentation such as hurdy-gurdy, flute, and pipes into an otherwise traditional death metal style, also adding a pagan element channeled through lyrics in the Gaulish language (a dead language in the Celtic family that pre-dated Latin throughout Western Europe). The band is comprised of Chrigel Glanzmann (vocals), Ivo Henzi (guitar), Siméon Koch (guitar), Rafi Kirder (bass), Anna Murphy (hurdy-gurdy), Meri Tadic (violin), Sevan Kirder (whistles, flute, gaita), and Merlin Sutter (drums). Formed in 2002 by vocalist Chrigel Glanzmann (formerly of the bands Môr Cylch and Dornwald), the band began as a one-off studio project resulting in the self-financed EP Vên in 2003. The EP was well received in the underground metal community, and Glanzmann and company decided to carry the Eluveitie project forward, becoming a genuine band.
In 2004, Eluveitie made their live performance debut and signed a recording contract with the Dutch label Fear Dark Records, which released an updated version of the Vên EP. In 2005, the band toured with fellow Fear Dark bands Slechtvalk, Random Eyes, and Pantokrator, and made plans to release their debut album, recording it at the end of the year. Released in 2006 on Fear Dark, Spirit marks the band's full-length debut. In support of the album, Eluveitie toured Europe with the German band Odroerir, including a co-headlining performance at the 2006 Fear Dark Festivals and at the 2007 Ragnarök Festival in Germany. In late 2007, Eluveitie signed a recording contract with the German label Nuclear Blast, one of the genre's premier musical outlets, and released their second full-length album, Slania, in 2008. The album became a Top 40 hit on the Swiss albums chart. The nearly all-acoustic LP Evocation I: The Arcane Dominion dropped the following year, while 2010's Everything Remains (As It Never Was) saw the group returning to their folk-metal roots. 2012's ambitious Helvetios took the conceptual route, focusing on the Gallic Wars, and 2014's Origins dealt with Celtic mythology. In 2017, after a flurry of lineup changes, the group returned with Evocation II: Pantheon, the sequel to their 2009 outing The Arcane Dominion. Their second-highest charting effort to date in their native Switzerland, the set also landed in the Top 10 on the U.S. Heatseekers chart. The refreshed lineup soon returned to the studio for a follow-up, returning in 2019 with Ategnatos. Appropriately titled using the Gaulish translation of "reborn," their eighth album debuted at number three on the Swiss charts and included the singles "Ambiramus" and "The Slumber." ~ Jason Birchmeier