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Cruachan - The Morrigan's Call
When I joined the Metalrage.com crew about 3 years ago, I immediately attended one of our meetings. There I got two CD’s to take home and review. The first one was 3 Inches Of Blood’s Advance And Vanquish, the second one Cruachan’s Pagan. An album that contains music I didn’t know anything about. Let alone I ever heard it before. Folk Metal it was called and so I did my best to write a decent review about the album. From that moment on I’ve heard lots of new stuff in my life, including other Folk Metal stuff. Therefore I decided to give this new Cruachan album a shot, just to go back but at the same time forward in time.
 
The album immediately starts with death metal like grunts from multi-instrumental man John Ryan. In this way the band makes clear this isn’t your average folk metal band that only plays happy (Celtic) tunes. No way! ‘Shelob’ definitely shows the variation this band has got to offer. I think that’s a good thing to do, although some of you might think of it as a kind of weird combination: chaotic, death metal sounds mixed up with happy and melodic Celtic tunes. Not something you’ll hear on a regular basis.
 
Although the album starts pretty nice, I like the second song, ‘The Brown Bull of Cooley’, much better. I think the different vocal-styles I told you about before are better combined in this song. It’s less happy than the tunes in ‘Shelob’ and therefore a bit more metal. Definitely a good song for the promotional use of folk metal. Which means, if you’re not familiar with Cruachan (folk metal) but like to try some, check out this song, it’s really cool! Another song that will do the trick is ‘Téir Abhaile Riú’, another typical Cruachan song that combines the two styles really good.  
 
Of course there’s a huge variation in the use of instruments on this album which makes it kinda hard to review the entire disc ‘cause that would take me quite a while. Let’s just say it all fits together perfect and gives the music a really impressive atmosphere that drags you to the Celtic coasts and Highlands. Wandering through the Highlands surrounded by fog. And the sound of the broken water (in ‘Coffin Ships’) definitely contributes to that atmosphere.
 
Though there’s also a (for me) big minor on this album. The “fading in” parts between the songs do not entirely fit the music. That’s mainly because in some way the songs are all individuals. Overall this album doesn’t sound like a whole. I’m not entirely sure if this is only on the promo album or not but my suggestion is: try to forget those fading parts on the album ‘cause they get you back to real life. A pity, ‘cause wandering around in the Highlands is something I quite like to do in my imagination.
 
The Morrigan’s Call in short; a nice album that definitely appeals to you if you already liked Cruachan. But as I said before, the songs do not form a whole. Individually these songs are nice to loosen up your imagination and give your brains some time off in the Celtic Highlands. It’s up to you whether you’d like to make a mind-trip or not.
Cruachan - The Morrigan's Call
75/1001Details AFM Records
Released on Friday Nov 17th, 2006
Folk Metal

Writer @Boek on Thursday Nov 9th, 2006

Tags: #Cruachan
Tracklisting 01. Shelob
02. The Brown Bull Of Cooley
03. Coffin Ships
04. The Great Hunger
05. The Old Woman In The Woods
06. Ungoliant
07. The Morrigan's Call
08. Téir Abhaile Riú
09. Wolfe Tone
10. The Very Wild Rover
11. Cuchulainn
12. Diarmuid and Grainne
Line up Karen Gilligan - Vocals
Keith Fay - Vocals, Electric & Acoustic Guitar, Keyboards,
Bouzouki, Mandolin, Banjo, Bodhrán, Percussion
John Clohessy - Bass, Aldotrube
John Ryan - Fiddle, Violin, Mandocello, Bowed Bass, Banjo
Joe Farrell - Drums, Percussion

Guests:
John O'Fathaigh - Irish Flute, Tin Whistles, Low Whistle,
Recorder
Aine O'Dwyer - Irish Harp