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TornaoD - Y.S. 2013 CD (album) cover

Y.S. 2013



Prog Folk

3.50 | 2 ratings

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Prog-Folk Team
4 stars The Celtic lands have long been proponents of the electrification of traditional music, but that quality alone does not qualify a work as progressive, and many excellent bands, particularly from Ireland, Scotland, and Brittany, have contributed immeasurably to the advancement of their regions' musical growth by injecting new stories, instrumentation, and exuberance into their traditional inspirations. Sometimes the line between this entertaining style and "Celtic prog" is very fine indeed, but other times...well, we know it when we hear it, and TORNAOD falls into the latter category.

This current Breton band counts among its influences almost every genre to pass between their ears from the 1960s to the present, including 1980s metal and new age. On the whole, this double disk is very upbeat and insistent, much more so than most of their ilk, but a reference point might be SEVEN REIZH, which have in common the same general thematic interests, the juxtaposition of male and female vocalists singing mostly in native Breton, and clear interests in classic progressive rock. But, frankly, if you sometimes wish that your prog really rocked in a way that even extreme metal can't, you should give TORNAOD serious consideration.

All the more impressive for being a double disk that counts minimal filler, "Y. S. 2013"'s 16 tracks flow one into the other, with a few binding themes repeating, particularly in the energetic and spellbinding "Kaligan" and "Land of the Free, Home of the Brave". "Morgor On", "Son 'vit Ur Bed Nevez...Adarre", and "Tornaod OMP" (like a Celtic "Eye of the Tiger" if you will) are all boisterous with aggressive rhythm and lead guitars amidst the pipes and fiddles. Tomaz Boucherifi-Kadiou's voice is emotive without being overwrought.

"Dout Tan Douar Bushi" is far more gentle with Emiko Ota sharing vocal duties, while the 21 minute "An Douar Hagus an Speir" works admirably as a summation of the group's powers, although, to be honest, even the 6 minute tracks are surprisingly diverse. The album slows down a bit after the suite, but just enough for me to recover my breath.

TORNAOD's latest is highly recommended to prog folk fans and others who might enjoy traditionally inspired hi-test music. Just make sure you bolt any movable objects to the floor before letting it blow through your living room. Better yet, listen from your storm cellar.

kenethlevine | 4/5 |


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