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Brazilian Celtic Metal - 90%

withoutmyshadow, October 2nd, 2005

If you check the earlier Tuatha de Danann discography you will realize that this is not a proper album but some kind of demo songs compilation, with the exception of the first track "Us", that seems to be a previously unreleased track. It's an acoustic song with guitar, flutes, percussion and some people clapping their hands, a standard folk song with nice melody, sounding very happy with good flute arrangements.

The next song "Tuatha de Danann" is a proper metal song, starts with an epic keyboard melody over metal guitar riffs followed by acoustic guitars and flutes, returning to the folkish style of the previous track. The vocals start clean and in the whole album they are singing inspired melodies that you can't get rid of after listening. There are very good death metal growling vocals too, and they work out fine providing more diversity to the band style. This second song is probably the one that fits better in the “melodic power metal” category because of the guitar riffs and leads, but one can hear power metal influences all over the album.

The third song, "Beltane", would sound better with a better production. The album production is kind of raw, probably because those songs are taken from demo tapes ("Tuatha de Danann" and "Beltane" are both taken from the "The Last Pendragon" demo), it reminds me the sound of Die Saat’s "Der Schlachten Tribute" album, but probably it's not a good reference since Die Saat isn't a known band as well. The raw production provides a nice atmosphere to the album, but the guitars sound a bit annoyingly specially in this "Beltane" song, what doesn't make it a bad song, it's actually pretty good and clingy.

"The Bards of Infinity" is a more power metal song with nice chorus and more flutes, acoustic strings and percussion. The next song "Queen of Witches" is my favorite, a very atmospheric metal piece, with great keyboard lines and the best death metal growling vocals I have heard lately.

"Faeryage" is a dancing song, it has the perfect mood for dancing around the fire in a cold winter night, but after a while it changes to a dark mood created by tense harmonies and the death growling vocals. The song goes on with good guitar leads and many different parts, always making use of flutes, keys and acoustic instruments. "Oisin", the next track, has a more epic mood; basically, it follows the same structure of the previous songs. Finally "Inrhama", the last song, is an acoustic piece that sounds nice, but less interesting than what you hear in the rest of the album.

Except for the cover, that looks really bad, this album is really interesting. The band succeed in their proposal of mixing different influences into something that sounds at least decent. I didn't enjoy the later albums Tuatha de Danann has released, I think they changed their style quite a lot. The lyrics here are about celtic mythology and legends in a serious way and the music sounds serious as well. After the demos, however, they became more uncompromising about everything and nowadays they are some kind of a "hippie metal" band singing about hallucinogen mushrooms and gnomes. It may look weird that there was even a black guy in the band at the time they recorded the songs of this album and yet they say that "Betane's fire still burn on (sic) our veins" and that "we cannot reject our past", as if they were celts. But since we live in a multicultural global postmodern world I don't think people will bother about it.