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Galahad - Ladhivan - Tales Of Celtic Myths CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

3.00 | 1 ratings

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3 stars After the three year hiatus that followed "Storyteller's Dance", German Celtic Rockers GALAHAD return with a new female lead singer Tina Schreiber, who replaced the outgoing Ulli Koberg. Paul Alexander remains principal writer, flute, mandolin and acoustic guitar player, but, while previously in too prominent a role as vocalist, here he sings lead on but one track, the rousing "Connemara Girl" in the best traditions of UK counterparts such as OYSTERBAND and even 1980s alt rock band JAMES from UK in its unplugged moments.

The arrangements here are more progressive than ever, even if the songs themselves rarely eschew the folk idiom. For the first time, GALAHAD approach the spirit of acts like Ireland's THE MORRIGAN, with more emphasis on spacey keyboard textures, reaching a crescendo on the imposing "This Day is not Today" enhanced by the heaviest guitars on the disk, which somewhat compensate for the dearth of lead guitar overall. Other superlative offerings in this vein include the mystical opener, "Sparrow in the Midwinter Hall" and the frenetic "Fox at the Airport", both terse yet poignantly lyrical and infused with urgency. Several themes repeat, such as the main melodies in "Under the Evenstar" and "The Very First Time Part 1", both slow paced and deliberate. The latter is slightly better and is not the only instance where I am reminded of former Quebecois group OREALIS. "Peaceful Slumber" begins almost identically to "Connemara Girl" but is ultimately distinct enough in its own right, trading male for female vocals and whistles for flutes. The title cut is another mysterious, even Gothic piece that is reprised instrumentally at the end. I hear some echoes of CLANNAD in the prioritizing of atmosphere, but the music here is more vivacious.

While an accomplished production, "Ladhiven" could have been improved by replacing of few of the less interesting cuts, such as "Warm Touch", "Mediis Tenebris" and "Step Beside" with a single longer track to vary the pacing and more firmly impose progressive credentials. Still, while not the best of GALAHAD's prolific output, it's a reasonable entry point to their discography for the prog oriented.

kenethlevine | 3/5 |


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