CRUACHAN - The Morrigan's Call

Cruachan - The Morrigan's Call

12 songs
46:46 minutes
***** ****


The Morrigan's Call is the fifth album by Cruachan from Ireland, and AFM is already the fourth label that has signed this highly talented Celtic metal band. As AFM is a bigger independent label, it's maybe Cruachan's turn now to finally get their long overdue and well deserved recognition.

Cruachan are four musicians adding mandolins, banjos, fiddles, violins and many other folk instruments I'm not familiar with to the traditional rock armada. Furthermore they have invited guests to play flutes, whistles and harps. That explains why Cruachan are calling their music pagan folk metal which is actually a confrontation of quite hard metal riffs with Celtic or Irish folk music. The danger exists that the frequent black and thrash metal parts may be too extreme for fans of ethnic music. Or to see it from the other perspective: the short and metal free The Old Woman In The Woods is sounding like a pure traditional inviting to drink and dance. The Pogues-like title track is another song not too suitable for pure metal-heads. But this meeting of contrasts is the salt in the soup cooked by Cruachan.

The opener Shelob has an extremely brutal black metal start which gets interrupted by the wonderful clear vocals from singer Karen Gilligan. Even if the contrasts are not always so extreme, Cruachan's songs take advantage from different moods (metal, folk, epic, doom). More towards end, you get a funny moment with The Very Wild Rover which many listeners may know another version of: An der Nordseeküste by Klaus und Klaus. This song seems to be very popular as The Dropkick Murphys and Tyr played it on their albums too. There's not a single blackout on The Morrigan's Call. Folk metal has rarely before sounded fresher.

There are certainly a lot of bands knowing how to combine metal and folk parts in an authentic sounding way. Skyclad, Tyr and Gjallarhorn are the first top acts that come to my mind. But now Cruachan also have deserved a place in folk metal heaven.

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