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Cruachan - The Morrigan's Call

Cruachan - CD Review
The Morrigan's Call

CD Info


Candlelight Records USA

12 Tracks

English lyrics

Morrigan's Call CD


Cruachan is a Celtic power metal band from Ireland and this is their fifth disc. Though Cruachan began as raw Celtic black metal they switched to power metal on their second disc and have maintained the same general style right up through The Morrigan’s Call. Their music is very heavy, crunchy, festive and upbeat combined with pervasive Celtic folk melodies played on such instruments as acoustic guitar and keys, bouzouki, mandolin, banjo, bodhran, aldotrube, fiddle, violin and mandocello. They feature considerable variety from song to song, from fast, surprisingly aggressive blackened power metal with folksy riffs to light-hearted metal versions of catchy traditional Irish songs. Indeed, the black metal influences from their past show up here in the occasional hard guitars, fast drums and male black vocals much more than their last few discs. Their lyrics are fascinating and are based primarily on Celtic folklore, history and mythology; the band actually goes to the trouble of explaining them in the liner notes by giving the reader considerable background information on the stories.

Their female vocalist, Karen Gilligan, was introduced on their second disc and has improved with every release since then. Her voice is now strong and confident with a natural folksy articulation that captures both the fierce passion of Celtic history and the playfulness of many of their traditional songs. There are quite a bit of harsh male vocals, again much more so than the last few discs. They range from aggressive clean singing to mild death vocals to harsh raspy black vocals.

Some Celtic metal bands attempt to seamlessly blend the folk influences with their chosen style of metal; when successful this can be very satisfying but it may also end up sounding like the folk influences are just a perfunctory addition to what otherwise would be fairly generic metal. Cruachan choose a different direction: some songs are almost entirely folk metal and others are predominately blackened power metal with folksy interludes or riffs. Although this sometimes gives the music a certain abruptness in the transitions, it maintains a purity of style in both the power metal and folk metal, both of which are well-written enough to stand on their own; the combination of the two is all the better.

For more information visit the band’s MySpace site: http://www.myspace.com/cruachanfanpage or http://cruachan.metalfan.nl/cruachan_main.htm