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




Prog Folk

4.00 | 70 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars I have to say I have never been all that big on Celtic or British Isles folk-rock in general (I do enjoy a few FAIRPORT CONVENTION and STEELEYE SPAN albums, and of course I have little problem with JETHRO TULL's stab at the style, even though theirs were always originals), but this Irish band did a good job at merging Celtic styles with rock. "Book of Invasions" is generally regarded as their best album, but since I hadn't heard everything from them, I can't say. The band consisted of Charles O'Connor on fiddle, mandolin, and concertina, Jim Lockhart on keyboards, flute and whistles, Berry Devlin on bass, John Fean on guitar, and Eamon Carr on drums. All, aside from Lockhart and Carr are credited to vocal duties. "Book of Invasions" is divided in to three movements, but not in the typical prog rock fashion, as these still sound like short, separate songs. This is a concept album of "The Book of Invasions" (Leabhar Gabhála Éireann) regarding Irish legends regarding pre-Christian Pagan days, if I'm not mistakened.

The album opens up with "Daybreak", a simply, folk-influenced melody played on guitar. "Trouble (With a Capital T)" is a nice, JETHRO TULL-like number. It's pretty obvious that Jim Lockhart's flute played was inspired by Ian ANDERSON. "The Power and the Glory" is a more rock-oriented number, while "The Rocks Remain" is a more gentle number that reminds me a bit of the Byrds (especially the vocal harmonies). "Sword of Light" is another great number fusing Celtic with rock. I hear them use "Toss the Feathers" (one of the jigs FAIRPORT CONVENTION used on their album "Liege & Lief") within this song. "Warm Sweet Breath of Love", for some reason or another, reminds me of Gerry Rafferty (whoever is singing that song, reminds me of him). "Fantasia (My Lagan Love)" is another instrumental, dominated by guitar. I thought "Sideways to the Sun" was rather boring, but the last cut, the Tull-like "Ride to Hell" is amazing!

I would rate this album higher if I was big on Celtic and British Isles folk music (which I'm not), but as it goes, this is a nice album to have, and highly recommended to those who enjoy Celtic rock.

Proghead | 4/5 |


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