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Horslips - The Book Of Invasions: A Celtic Symphony CD (album) cover

THE BOOK OF INVASIONS: A CELTIC SYMPHONY

Horslips

 

Prog Folk

4.00 | 54 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Queen By-Tor
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Awesome with a capitol A! (lame, yeah, I know)

With a now fairly large discography under their belt and only one album that was not overly well received, Horslips makes the march back into the studio and records this gem. The Book Of Invasions is a concept record based on Celtic folklore and is made up of 3 movements which are split into several shorter tracks. As with previous records the band maintains their Celtic rock sound, although on this album it's done in a much more accessible style. Fans of The Tain may be a little bit surprised with how 'commercial' the band sounds on this album, but after a couple of listens it's easy to see that the change in style was not a bad one.

The first half of the album (the First Movement) is constructed very much in the same manner that previous albums have been done in. Instrumental introductions and interludes connect the movement into one continuous song cycle from Daybreak to Dark and uses recurring themes in the Celtic instrumentation like the flute and mandolin to keep the entire movement as a cohesive piece while allowing movement and transition time between individual songs. Among the first side of the album are some of the band's best songs, including the frantic Trouble With A Capitol T which feature's one of the band's most infectious flute riffs along with some highly impressive drum parts. Sword Of Light is another impressive piece, showing that the band knows just as well to use keyboards as any major progressive act in their day. Book ended by the emotional and grandiose instrumentals this is a very impressive piece that can send shivers down your spine at many moments.

The rest of the album is really a sign of things to come, a transition if you will. The Second Movement on the album shows the band becoming more of a combination of Thin Lizzy and Jethro Tull with songs like Warm Sweet Breath Of Love that features some great and memorable riffs, even if there is a little bit less Celtic instrumental breaks. Luckily, there will be in the next song, Fantasia - My Lagen Love which is probably where all the Celticness of the first song had been hiding. This instrumental is just purely great, and showcases what the band does best, much like The Silver Spear from The Tain. King Of Morning, Queen Of Day ends the second movement with a bang and combines the styles of the previous two songs well, creating a short, accessible tune with Celtic backings that will no doubt get stuck in your head.

The Third Movement is the shortest of the album, but one worth listening to even so. This is the conclusion to the album and also somewhat the most mellow thanks to the soothing Sideways To The Sun, which is probably the only slow point on the album. Luckily it finishes up with Ride To Hell which is a scorching rocker that ends things off nicely.

Overall an incredibly well put together album that is well worth getting for anyone who fancies themselves a sucker for Celtic rock. In direct comparison to The Tain it all depends on person preference as to which is a better album. This one has a few less subtleties, but it makes up for it by being well rounded and incredibly well though out. 4.5 stars for a fantastic record.

Queen By-Tor | 4/5 |

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