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One of the most beautiful hours of everyone's life - 100%

Verd, January 9th, 2012

Being one of the most underrated and unknown bands of all times, Brazil's (celtic) folk metal band Tuatha de Danann would actually deserve an appreciation extended throughout the whole world, since so far they have published an EP and three full-lengths so innovative, inspired and full of brilliant ideas that they all probably deserve votes spanning from 98 to 100. Plus, and they make it extremely clear in this DVD, they are incredibly skilled and talented musicians, playing a kind of folk metal (here, since it's an acoustic DVD, folk with no metal, of course) full of variations and instruments as mandolins, acoustic guitars, flutes and percussions of every type.

As I said in the title, the length of the DVD is not that long, only an hour, but in this hour they span all their career, thus producing 13 songs that include two medleys, and with a great range of guest musicians they have been able to transform even those song with more metal sound (i.e.: Believe: It's True!) into perfect acoustic pieces, making the listener think that all of Tuatha De Danann's tracks were originally composed only in an acoustic way. Actually all the songs sound just like in studio - and at many times, live they're even way better - and the band has, of course, accurately brought on stage all those folk instruments needed to play such a variety of melodies. Mastermind, main vocalist and (acoustic) guitarist Bruno Maia dominates the scene here, not making a single mistake while playing complicate melodies and singing at the same time, but all the band and the guest musicians have been able to recreate all these studio feelings that you can hear, for instance, in Tingaralatingadun, a pretty fast folk song that makes use of many voices and violin and keyboard melodies combined.

Tuatha De Danann's whole discography is represented on here, and I am obliged not to make a track by track review, even because it would be a continuous praise. A good think I could do is to describe more accurately their style, which is composed by a catchy and extremely melodical vein that treads through and characterizes all their songs, sometimes ending up in amazing choruses as in Abracadabra, but most of the times leading to astonishing melodies of flute or violin, just like in Tir Nan Og (Land Of Youth), and another characteristic of Tuatha De Danann is their lack of linear structures in the songs, thus putting into them an amazing number of different riffs played by different folk instruments and electric (acoustic, here!) guitars. It isn't a common thing, and not only in the folk metal subgenre, especially if you compare this album to acoustic pieces like Eluveitie's Omnos or Finntroll's Försvinn Du Som Lyser: every Tuatha De Danann track is, in fact, a blend of flute, violin and keyboard melodies combined with guitar and bass solos and clean and raw vocals (and even here, in acoustic, they use harsh vocals!) that, rather than leading to choruses or refrains, puts into the songs an impressive number of different brilliant ideas. And I could bet anything you want that from an only Tuatha De Danann song, the vast majority of the other folk metal bands could be able to write four or five different (and, of course, much more boring and canonical) tracks.

Apart from Bruno Maia's great voice and Isabel Tavares's even greater (female) voice, the instrumental aspect is, actually, the most distinctive and relevant part of Tuatha De Danann's music, and being this an all-acoustic album everyone can hear the skills and the abilities of all the musicians, aided by a great production that makes us perfectly hear and distinguish every instrument in a stage in which almost ten musicians play at the same time. In particular, flutes and violins sound probably even better of those in the studio versions of the songs, and greatly catchy and difficult all-instrumental tracks as The Oghma's Reel and Celtia are played with an impressive mastery of the instruments themselves. Even in highly evocative songs like Trova Di Danù, characterized by soft violins and brilliant flutes that accompany Isabel's voice, the whole band manages not to make a single mistake, and it's a joy to see and listen to all those guitarists, keyboard, flute, violin players and so on play in an impressive skilled and still emotional way. Yeah, these live versions are probably way better than the studio ones!

In the end, this DVD is extremely suggested to virtually anyone. It's entirely acoustic, yeah, so there's no metal at all (except if you know the original songs, and in this case you probably will play in your mind the electric guitar solos over the acoustic ones played in the DVD!), but the whole show is so perfect on the musical aspect that can be enjoyed by anyone, and every person who loves any kind of folk music but isn't into metal at all would still love this masterpiece, since it's so greatly written and played! And even if it's all acoustic, I think that this DVD would be an awesome starting point for all those who still have never heard of the metal albums of Tuatha De Danann - and I swear that everyone who listens and watches this video will be bound to instantly love the band and the geniality of their songs, thus inducing him or her to explore the whole discography of a band so awesome and still so underrated.