Bran Barr - Sidh review


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Band: Bran Barr
Album: Sidh
Release date: January 2010

01. Origin - The Birth Of Fearg
02. Celebration - Son Of Nuadh Amhach
03. Fury - Exile Of the Orphan
04. Passage - The Curse Of The Manimal
05. The Call - Gathering The Tribes
06. Rebirth - Morgan's Gift To Righ'Sidh
07. Profedïez [feat. TBK]
08. Revelation - In The Dominion Of Kernunnos
09. Journey - The Grand Quest For The Magical Acorn
10. Ode Aux Lointains Souverains [Stille Volk cover]

Folk metal stuff, anyone? Yes, we know we're in for a ride in old, pagan lands as soon as the intro starts with its tribal drumming and flutes.
But read on, read on, even if you're not a fan of this kind of metal, as Bran Barr might actually surprise you!

Just a word about the band: Bran Barr actually exists since 1995, and Sidh is their second album. They come from Brittany, the French region which still clings fiercely to its Celtic heritage. Of course, it shows in their music. So let's delve deeper into this matter.

OK, no one can discount the folk part, be it because of the traditional instrument being really prominent in the mix, or because of half of the songwriting, which - guess what - is really folky. Celtic folk, of course. But no one can either ignore the fact that it's metal music (of a black sort - with solos) we're talking about. A proof? Just listen to "Fury - Exile Of The Orphan" and its furious riffing and drumming.
And what amazed me with this album is that these two elements intertwine fucking well… The songwriting is pretty flawless in this regard, it all flows naturally, and doesn't sound contrived at all… Contrary to many band in this quite crowded, and often boring, metal subgenre!
Just that, and we already have a good album. But that's not all. Man, this is EPIC. Even more, this album is really an epic, as it tells the story of a hero named Fearg. With the various moods and arrangements, you're sure to be drawn in this colourful tale of ages past.
Now add to this that the production pretty much perfect, with all instruments (yes, all) having their fair share of the mix, a sound clear as a wood spring, but clearly not a cold, lifeless one… Yes, this is without doubt one of the best folk metal album I've heard in ages.

Oh, I've tried, but I didn't find any real flaw in this album. Well, the folk interludes with all those pipes and stuff will be too much for some. And the Stille Volk cover, while good, does sound out of place after such a journey… Apart from this, zero, nada, nothing to add if you ask me.

Sure, if you really have a severe case of allergy to anything remotely similar to a wooden flute, this album is not for you. For all the others, come and be swept by what will stand out as one of the best folk metal albums of 2010!


Written on 30.04.2010 by Once your regular Hellfest reporter, now retired. I (strangely enough) listen to a lot of metal. And enjoy good beers, comics, novels and role-playing games.


Comments: 6   Visited by: 177 users
01.05.2010 - 01:15
Heaven Knight
What a coincidence...i was just listening to their MySpace when saw this review in RSS feed

for me they are nothing "awesome", but i really dont mind listening to them
So behold the flight of the sapphire dragon
soaring through the skies once again

01.05.2010 - 04:09
Never heard of them until seeing the review... From the stuff on their Myspace site it certainly seems good and well done. It reminds me a bit of Vintersorg's earlier releases, with the uplifting, epic sense and folk melodies, and switching between (very well done) melodic singing and rasping.
01.05.2010 - 04:44
Bout damn time you guys reviewed this, this is such a metalstorm album it's ridiculous
01.05.2010 - 12:30
Lord Of Jörg
A very nice review for an awesome album !
04.05.2010 - 00:46
Edmund Fogg
First time listener to this band and so far I really enjoy what Ihear.Althought it doesn't break any boundaries they play really well and pay a great hommage to their ancestors.
You cannot sedate all the things you hate - MM
The Observer is the source of reality - Bloom
God damn it!! What did Diddy didn't do? - Satan
16.07.2011 - 17:26
Learning To "X"
This is actually pretty cool.
"There comes a time when you look into the mirror and you realize that what you see is all that you will ever be. And then you accept it. Or you kill yourself. Or you stop looking in mirrors."

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