“The Morrigan’s Call” by Cruachan

Artist: Cruachan
Title: “The Morrigan’s Call”
Label: Candlelight Records
Release Date: 3/20/2007
Genre: Celtic/Folk Metal
Rating: 4.5/5

I would venture to guess that if bands like Korplikanni get you kicking and Finntroll finds your fancy then it’s about time that you “get your Irish up” with the music of Cruachan – a band that shows you how it’s done on the Emerald Isle. The rich Folk melody with a decidedly Irish twist is capable of getting the blood and the Guinness pumping as you energetically rock out to this one. “The Morrigan’s Call” is the bands first release on Candlelight Records, and a perfect home they could not have found any easier for their amalgamation of Celtic Metal, Irish Traditional, and Black Metal adventures. Rich Folk melody with a true Irish twist will get the blood and Guinness pumping as you rock to this one. The band uses a strong sense of Irish Folklore on many of the tracks and while there is a definite Metal vibe to much of the album, everything has that Celtic essence to it. “Shelob” begins with a rumbling Black Metal growl but as it reaches the middle you don’t know whether to mosh or do a jig. They swap between vocal styles with the Dark being handled by Keith Fay while Karen Gilligan handles the clean and the end result is overall very interesting. Fay also handles the electric and acoustic guitar duties, bodhran drum, mandolin, percussion and keyboard. A lot for one person yes, but it allows for a deeper amount of experimentation to be done. The use of traditional instruments does not end with him as John Ryan Will provides the Tin Whistle, Violin, Banjo, bouzouki and keyboards. The rhythm section is complimented by John Clohessy and Joe Farrell on bass and drums respectively. Among the more traditional Celtic fair lies in “Coffin Ships” with its flutes and whistles and “Morrigan’s Tale” which is vocal and bodhran drum exclusively. There is a nice heaviness that always has that folkish stomp to it and some of them will turn any traditional jig into a swarming mosh pit. As I listened and discovered this I found it made the experience of this band a lot more rewarding. It’s hard to compare them to any of the existing Folk bands I currently follow since there is such a Celtic flair and most the others I’ve been digging on have been Viking ones. I guess it would be cool to say imagine the Corrs meeting the likes of a decent Black Metal band and siring offspring.

I’ve always loved the way Irish music felt and to find a band that can mix this with some interesting Metal made this a winner for me. As it stands the group has been together for over a decade and “The Morrigan’s Call” is their fifth full album and should be treated well by Candlelight Records buyers. This is a worthwhile release and the great thing about it is the fact that it can at times take you into the concert hall while at others makes you feel as though you are on open fields in faraway lands with friends. As they say in all those Guinness commercials – “Brilliant!!”

Track Listing:
1. Shelob
2. The Brown Bull Of Cooley
3. Coffin Ships
4. The Great Hunger
5. The Old Woman In The Woods
6. Ungoliant
7. The Morrigan’s Call
8. Teir Abhaile Riu
9. Wolfe Tone
10. The Very Wild Rover
11. Cuchulainn
12. Diamuid And Grainne

Official Website: http://www.cruachanireland.com/

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