Cruachan - Tuatha Na Gael review
|Album:||Tuatha Na Gael|
01. I Am Tuan
02. The First Battle Of Moytura
03. Maeves' March
04. Fall Of Gondolin
06. Taín Bó Cuailgne
07. To Invoke The Horned God
08. Brian Boru
09. To Moytura We Return
10. Return [2001 re-release bonus]
11. Erinsong [2001 re-release bonus]
12. Ó Ró Sé Do Bheata Bhaile [2001 re-release bonus]
Cruachan is today probably one of the most well-known representatives of Ireland's metal scene. Formed of the members of the disbanded Minas Tirith in 1992, Cruachan released their first album "Tuatha Na Gael" in 1995. With this album they began to develop the style of Celtic folk metal that they have been using until today.
"I Am Tuan", the song which starts the album is a clear and peaceful introduction. Uillean pipes create indeed a very Irish atmosphere that seems to invite the listener to imagine the nature and character of Ireland itself. The second song, however, will already take the listener to a vigorous ride to the first battle of Moytura as it is written in the title of the song. "Tuatha Na Gael" has more black metal influences than the later released albums of the band. The overall impression is more rugged and harsh. One can notice this when listening for example to the songs "To Invoke the Horned God" and "The Fall of Gondolin" and their remakes that appear on the albums "Folk-Lore" and "Pagan". Many believe that it is the absence of Karen Gilligan's smooth vocals that causes the difference.
It can still be said that the band has stayed true to the black metal style combined with Celtic sounds. However, they do have paid more attention to stressing the light folk element on their later albums. Cruachan's ability is to create a fine sound that loads the listeners with energy. One of the highlights of "Tuatha Na Gael" is "Cuchulainn", it is probably the best song ever created to be played in a pub.
With this album, Cruachan introduces their selection of lyrical themes. From fantasy and Tolkien's works to the history and mythology of Ireland. An aspect they will develop further on their later albums.
The 2001 bootlegged re-release of the album includes also three tracks which appeared on the band's self-financed demo of 1997. Songs "Return", "Erinsong" and "Ó Ró Sé Do Bheatha Bhaile" feature the tender female vocals by Aisling Hanrahan.
To sum up, it can be said that "Tuatha Na Gael" is a jewel among the fine albums the band has created. It is a perfect representative of their personal style and has also a face of its own. This merry album is enjoyable for every fan of Cruachan and a fine experience for any person who likes folk metal all in all.
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| Baz Anderson
| Bad English
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