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High quality Irish metal - 91%

quickbeam, June 24th, 2012

This is an excellent metal album, predominantly doom but with folk influence. The work captures the spirit of Irish mythology very well, and serves as a soundtrack to the bitter and tragic tales of old. Every song here is performed with great power and emotion.

The music is mainly slow to mid-pace, though it does get fast at certain points. Definitely a nice variety in tempo throughout this record. All instruments are heard clearly due to the clean production, and they all sound extremely pleasing. The guitar tone is perfect. The riffs, while never especially complex, never fail to hook the listener. These guys sure know how to write songs. The vocals are, to me, a highlight. Basically clean all the way through, the singer can enunciate fantastically. To me, this is a timeless sort of voice, one which could easily have been heard when the Irish myths were first told. It is full of strength, and has an understated passion. Complementing these, the band makes tasteful use of acoustic guitars, piano and flute.

The lyrics are thoughtful and, at times, poetic. The theme is usually personal struggle, and this is often fit into a story – the most clear example being the title track, a saga about betrayal and politics in the old Irish kingdoms. My one complaint about this album is this track, actually, because it begins so magnificently, but never quite reaches an appropriately powerful conclusion.

This album is highly recommended. 45 minutes of metal majesty. The 10 minute long opener, ‘Atlas of Sorrow’, is one of those songs that’s very difficult not to sing along to (sometimes a problem in public as the refrain happens to be ‘you will all burn!’) All songs are very catchy, despite often having slightly unusual structures. Some of the best use of piano I’ve heard in metal. Lashings of saga spirit. Just a great album, really.