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Invoke The Horned God - 100%

Jiri777, July 8th, 2009

This is the father album of Celtic black metal. This was one of the first albums to incorporate European folk music with black metal. This album is raw, nasty, and definitely kick ass!

First of all the folk instruments are the most noticeable parts about “Tuatha Na Gael.” There are flutes, tin whistles, bagpipes, and even recorders (those wind instruments they force you to play in the third grade)! All of the folk instrumentation sound very Celtic, and are very unrefined. I’m not sure how skilled the folk player is, but it is damned effective! I love the ugly rawness of Celtic folk music, but I must warn that they might rub others the wrong way. Especially the instruments used on “Tuatha Na Gael.”

Vocals on this album are rather weak. I have grown to love them, but do not look for a strong vocalist here. They are mostly low-pitched blackened screams that are not powerful. They are low, or distant in the mix, making them hard to hear. I find them classic, but Keith could have done better. There are also clean vocals used here. Placed very sparsely, clean vocals are not effective on this release. They are weedy, and there is virtually no point in them. They are only used on three tracks for about a minute or so in each.

Guitars are very good here. They really mix in well with the folk instruments. For example, on many of the songs, folk instruments will play a certain melody and the guitar will play the same melody back, although amplified and distorted. It really sounds great. They also merge the two creating a duel effect between the folk instruments and guitars.

The drummer here is alright. He is no Hellhammer (Mayhem, Arcturus, etc) or Frost (1349, Satyricon), but he gets the job done. For black metal, there is not as many blast beats as you would think. The drums are good, but definitely not a show stopper.

Highlights on this album are pretty much every track, including the three instrumentals. “I am Tuan” is fucking gorgeous. Just Celtic bagpipes played with great atmosphere. Love that song. “To Invoke the Horned God” is a fucking masterpiece that sounds really evil towards the end. Every song would be worth mentioning, but I will not waste time doing that. The songs are also very long in length, which could be a turn off for some. I personally love their lengths, and find them perfect.

“Tuatha Na Gael” is nothing short of a Celtic folk metal masterpiece. I highly recommend spending money on it unless you do not enjoy Celtic folk music because it is very hard to ignore.