The Morrigan's Call

Ireland’s Cruachan, for me, has always been a band of unfulfilled promise and annoyingly un-reached potential. Also, their ability to never quite settle of a style of metal, (be it the black metal of Tuatha Na Gael of the thrash of The Middle Kingdom or even just heavy metal for the Skyclad-ish Pagan) to back their Gaelic/Celtic themes, or a steady line-up seems to have hinders the band’s growth.

Now I’m not going to come out and say Cruachan has finally delivered the album they have hinted at for more than 10 years, as they still seem a bit undecided how ‘metal’ they want to be, but for the most part The Morrigan’s Call, seems to be a fluid, consistent and enjoyable album, that finally hints at the bands true potential.

Immediately from the surprisingly harsh opening of the metal jig of “Shelob” (yes, Tolkien appears to now be part of the bands themes), and “The Brown Bull of Cooley”, you will notice that this album is far more ‘metal’ that either Pagan or Folk-Lore, especially the vocals of remaining founder Keith Fay. Still though there’s plenty of flute, mandolin, tin whistle and bodhran laced frivolity within all of the cantering metal songs as well is in their own little interludes (“Coffin Ships”, “The Old Woman in the Woods”, “Wolf Tone”, “The Morrigan’s Call”) most of it based on Celtic history and folklore (“The Great Hunger”, “Cuchulainn”) and ‘metalized’ traditional material (“Téir Abhaile Riú”, “The Very Wild Rover”).

Karen Gilligan still sounds a bit ‘off’ at times, but is convincing and pleasantly raw as opposed to the usual sugary female vocals in metal today. However, The Morrigan’s Call, despite its niche sound is Cruachan’s most complete and least flawed album of their post Tuatha Na Gael albums and finally sees the band realizing their sound on consistent level.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
April 24th, 2007


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