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Cruachan Owns Ye All ... ! - 92%

Orion, March 29th, 2005

Cruachan's "Folk-Lore" is one of the most interesting pieces of music i've heard recently! It doesn't resemble any folk-rock/metal album i've listened to, because it really captures the essence of folksy music. Ironically, every "folk metal" song i've listened to so far has little to do with folk music, being either death/black metal with bagpipes ( Finntroll, Turisas etc...), either NWOBHM with flutes ( Skyclad anyone ? ).

The gem we have here is mostly consisted of slow-paced irish melodies, ornamented by a female vocalist's singing. I have to point out that her "rural" voice perfectly fits the music, giving it a very authentic feel. The music's generally slow tempo lets the listener enjoy the orchestration.Furthermore the fusion between rock and folk music is done masterfully here, and the result is music beyond words, especially if you're a fan of both genres. Personally, this album was my gateway to folk/celtic music. After listening to it, i started developping interest for such artists as Shane MacGowan, Christina Pato and Jethro Tull.

The only reason which prevented me to give this album a 100% is the two last tracks, which include growled/rasped vocals, souding totally out of context, and ruining the good music.

Another success for the Irish bards - 90%

Andrzej, August 2nd, 2003

This is the third full release from Cruachan. It does not have the raw aggression of Tuatha na Gael but instead mid to slow paced songs with folk instruments like Irish flute, tin whistle, bodhrán, (an Irish drum) and even guests playing fiddle, violin, and cello. It is by no means an "extreme" album, growled vocals appear only in the track Exiles, my favorite song on the album, where I am reminded heavily of earlier Cruachan.

The songs have quite a bit of story to them, which are fully explained in the booklet. Knowing the history behind the songs add quite a bit of enjoyment to them.

Many of the melodies are very catchy, at times the guitars even add a sorrowfull feel to the songs, especially on track 9. The drum work is very well done, I think it's safe to say that Cruachan are currently the best band in the Celtic metal genre.

Overall, Folk-Lore is a very good release, a nice blend of original compositions and traditional Irish tunes. If there were more "metal" vocals and occasionally some faster, heavier parts, I think it would be better.