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Prog-Folk Team
5 stars

No sophomore jinx here for Pererin, as "Teithgan" picks up where "Haul Ar Y Eira" grudgingly let go. It is almost as if the band had a deep well of material saved up and couldn't get through it on one disk.

One aspect that is apparent right from the imaginative opener is that the mellotron is back with a vengeance, as it enhances the flute dominated piece to give it a cosmically significant air. This is followed by the haunting "Y Gwr O Gefn Birth" where the flute once again predominates, playing harmony to the glorious singing, and the bass work is particularly notable. It is another of those Pererin songs, along with "Ble'r Wyt Ti'n Myned", that reminds me so much of Runrig's concurrent material, in a favourable way, without being a copy by any means. It is more in the defiance that permeates every note. For all I know, they were both recording at the same time.

As in "Haul Ar Y Eira", Pererin experiments with the rarely trod cosmic cowboy style in "Draw Dros Y Bryniau". Simply gorgeous. Indeed, while female voice is virtually absent from Teithgan, it is more than compensated for by the strength of the material and, frankly, the soakings of mellotron that substitute celestial instrumentation for ethereal voice.

Again the keynote of the album is struck on the final cut, which typically requires multiple plays before I get my fill. It strikes me as something the Byrds would have done if they survived another decade and, oh yes, sung in Welsh. It appears to be from the point of view of one who is looking down from Pary's Mountain wondering what will become of the land and the culture of Wales. The last couple of minutes are a most intense blend of pointed lead guitar, dramatic mellotron, and fluttering flute over heavily strummed acoustic guitar. It's not only the best song on Teithgan, but probably the highlight of Pererin's career and a major triumph for UK progressive folk rock. Shivers run up and down my spine throughout these glorious 5 minutes like a wave of nostalgia for memories locked within.

So, another triumph for Pererin, perhaps 4.5 stars instead of 4.9, but still nothing wasted and proof that this journey was one of more than a single step.

Report this review (#155794)
Posted Monday, December 17, 2007 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
Prog Folk
4 stars 4.5 stars really!!!!

Second album from the Welsh combo and second touchdown in so many tries. Indeed Pererin proved that the 80's had no grasp on their music and Teithgan is yet another marvellous piece of 70's prog folk. The quintet's delightful folk rock reminds a lot of the later 70's Basque folk wave and is especially reminiscent of the fabulous Itoiz, both in terms of pure heavenly songwriting, but also in the vocal delivery, their Gaelic dialect adding some very exotic touches. Their three albums had been completely forgotten about, until the small Spanish-based Guerssen label revived it recently with reissues of all three, although it appears the debut has yet to see a Cd format reissue. While the group chose to sing in their Welsh tongue, they took care to at least translate their song titles in English, French and two other "brands" of Gaellic. Teithgan (Travelling Song) comes with a very na´ve and abstract windy-themed artwork.

The opening Door track (that's the title gives you right away the beautiful and serene ambiances through which the whole album will bask. Indeed Bev Jones' flute gives an enchanting tone to the often multi-faceted vocals. The following Gefn Brith is a tribute to the Welsh martyr of the same name. Even though the ambiances go a little more solemn and dramatic, the mainly acoustic music remains gorgeous. The short instrumental "Will You Come, Dei?" is another pure delight, moving through a few moods effortlessly. Through The Mountains is a slower track where the flute gives out a pastoral that sends you out for the green pastures of the Welsh hills. Closing up is a trad song roughly translate to My Babe Is Cute and might just be the only cheesy moment of the album, even if a Hackettian and Firth Of Fifthian electric guitar solo smoothes out the balladry

The flipside of the album starts out on Joyful Symphony (a modern Christian song), much like previously given

Then comes a four-movement suite (lasting under 6-mins), from which the album draws its name after the first movement Teithgan, a story of a Welsh that beat a horse at racing but ended dead after crossing the line. Definitely one of the highlights of the album, it is the only song of the album where the joy seems partly absent, but replaced by some dramatics. Maybe the album's tracks, too. Another trad song "Where Are You Going, Fair Lady?" gives another nod to the Basque group of Itoiz, ending in an electric fair with Banksian synth layers and Hackettian guitars. Trickles is a short Rutherford-Philips-Hackett arpeggio interlude, a prelude to the superb Parys Mountains, a warning about interference of mainstream culture for local tradition. Starting out on a solemn flute over cold winds, the 5-mins closing track is another highlight, with a full-blown prog spectrum, showing on much Genesis had been an influence over them.

Overall, a delightful album that only small labels like Guerssen seem to be taking the risk to reissue and certainly here, they have unearthed another superb gem that had been forgotten. And let's rush out to buy it, just to encourage him to look for more. Don't be afraid of the year of release of this album, it seems that time and music industry had little grasp over Pererin.

Report this review (#156049)
Posted Thursday, December 20, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars More beautiful music

I will always be grateful to Ken Levine for turning me on to this amazing band and their debut masterpiece. Their second album "Teithgan" is another very good collection of delicate folk-rock. While still a very pleasant listen and recommended to prog-folk genre fans I do not regard it as highly as the debut. The songs are good but not as drop-dead perfect and the magical vocals of Nest Llewelyn are so sadly missed. After playing "Teithgan" numerous times for this review I had to revisit "Haul Eira" but once to realize how much more special that one is to me in both content and performance. That said, this album will please many with it brilliant and sunny arrangements of flute, guitar, and mellotron. It is another fine mix of traditional folk and folk-rock.

"Hearts Door" begins with picked acoustic guitar and delightful flute before the male vocal begins. After a bit drums and bass enter for a mid-paced folk rock with mellotron behind everything, very nice. There is a bit of Latimer style lead electric as well. It is a gorgeous opener described as a Welsh love song. "The Man from Cefn Brith" is a darker mood about a Welsh martyr using tighter, sharper edged guitar strumming and percussion with just a bit of electric snippets here and there. Quite traditional in feel. The instrumental "Will You Come Dai" is warm and enveloping with contemplative acoustic and flute over hand percussion. Some very light electric guitar is weaved into the background. The pace picks up to something approaching a march. "Far Over the Hills" has an introduction of atmospheric guitar echo before vocals, drums, bass, flute and mellotron join. Rather slow, steady, pleasant but average track. "My Love" is another simple, pleasant track. With it laid back flute and airy guitars it is relaxing. "Joyful Symphony" is noted as a contemporary Christian song. Soft keyboards and warm acoustic guitar back the plaintive male vocals. Very mellow, no drums. "The Journey Song" warns about winning "the race" while losing the most importance treasures of one's life. The first part features some nice measured electric leads over hand percussion. This track is probably the wildest one with several different parts and some saucy guitar competing a bit with the flute. "Where are you going my fair maid" is a gorgeous traditional love song with just a few nice licks over the quiet acoustic and vocal. Soon female vocals join for some nice harmonizing as the track picks up a bit, then slows again. "A Few Trickles" is exactly that.just a short instrumental interlude of acoustic, flute, and an electric with volume pedal. Very pretty. "Pary's Mountain" is noted as a historical song warning against pollution and the loss of cultures and old ways of life. It is as Ken notes a real highlight of this second album permeated with both sadness for and struggle against the loss of collective past. These feelings strike a nerve with me as I'm often bothered by the lack of respect we show to our history, to places that are special. How quickly we are willing to part with special places in the guise of progress, for the profit of the few. We lose so much every day and so few care. The song moves towards a nice climax with the boldest music yet but then unfortunately does a poorly chosen fade when a proper ending was called for.

I would strongly urge anyone interested in Pererin to get the debut album first. If you love it (and I think most will) the other two albums are a very safe bet. While the lyrics provided are not in English there is a wonderful drawing provided for each song that sheds additional insight into the theme or emotion of each track. They are very tasteful and provide much more value than the often contrived "art work" that adorns many modern prog albums.a true example of less is more. But then, "less is more" is a line that Pererin embodies to me and I'm guessing proudly so to them. Simple beauty, local stories, enormous talent modestly displayed in a most sincere fashion.

Report this review (#168213)
Posted Sunday, April 20, 2008 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars Hey I have a new favourite Folk record ! As much as I enjoyed PERERIN's debut it was their very traditional sound along with the female vocalist that tempered my enthusiasm for it. I grew to like both of those elements but on this their second album they dropped the female singer (there are some female backing vocals at times) and have turned to a more atmospheric sound. It's gorgeous to say the least. It's that atmosphere that can be felt that moves me so much with IONA, and while it's not as strong here it still has the desired affect. This is the kind of music that seems to be inspired by God himself.

"Y Drws" opens with acoustic guitar as gentle flute then vocals come in. Drums before a minute as the sound gets fuller. Electric guitar and synths too. Amazing sound ! Moving. "Y Gwr O Gefn Brith" opens with acoustic guitar and vocals. They both get passionate before a minute. Electric guitar and drums join in. Some flute too. "Ddoi Di Dei" opens with acoustic guitar. Flute and drums after a minute. I like the way it builds. A cool instrumental. "Draw Dros Y Bryniau" has such a beautiful intro. Bass and drums then join in followed by vocals. I'm surprised at how deep the bass is here.The vocals are from above. Flute arrives. Some atmosphere here. A very moving track. "Mae Nghariad In Fenws" opens with acoustic guitar as gentle vocals join in. Flute and female backing vocals too. Electric guitar solo after 2 minutes. Nice. "Symffoni Lawen" opens with acoustic guitar as vocals join in. The vocals are so sincere. Pure emotion. Synths create some atmosphere. Organ floats in before 1 1/2 minutes. Wondrous.

"Teithgan" opens with flute, percussion and guitar. This is more traditional sounding like their debut album. Drums after a minute and chunky bass as the rhythm seems to gallop. A change 2 minutes in as we get vocals and some atmosphere, it's almost spacey. It kicks back in at 3 minutes with electric guitar and drums. Huge bass here. I love it ! I mean this is a Folk album and the guitar is angular and the bass is digging really deep ! Haha.The intro is reprised to end it. "Ble'r Wyt Yi'n Myned" opens with guitar and reserved vocals. It kicks in around 2 minutes. Contrasts continue. "Diferion" is a beautiful but short instrumental. "Mynydd Parys" sounds so good early then it settles with acoustic guitar and vocals. Kicks back in. How good is this ! Contrasts continue.The final minute is pure bliss.

I can only imagine the joy that this band has brought to people around the world. They certainly have shone a light in my little world.

Report this review (#236580)
Posted Wednesday, September 2, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars More folk rock from Wales.

I had no expectations when putting this, Pererin's second album in the CD player for the first time. But I have grown to really like this album during the customary ten listening sessions.

Teithgan is sung in the Welsh language and the music is pretty traditional folk music. The music is pretty much dominated by flutes, vocals, keyboards, bass and guitars. The flutes are in particular excellent. The music here is also leaning more towards rock than folk music. The musicians is doing an excellent job.

Unfortunate, the songs are still not that great. The albums churns out some really good folk rock, but hardly ventures outside the uncomplicated folk rock formula. I am looking for more from an album than Teithgan is offering me. Those are my gripes.

As a traditional folk rock album, this is as good as it can get. And that is all I can say about this album. I like it very much, but I can also see (make that; hear) it's limits.

3.5 stars

Report this review (#304579)
Posted Saturday, October 16, 2010 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Pererin's debut was quite succesful so that their Guerin label gave them freedom for the recording style of the follow up.The band visited the Studio Cain with a new member in the place of Nest Llwelyn, it was female flutist/keyboardist Lilo Haf.Circumstances were not the best during this time, regular visitors of the studio had a word on Pererin's songs, but the shield was the band's producer Anthony Pugh, who supported the band and even took the tapes of the sessions to London for a proper mix.Album was titled ''Teithgan'', released in 1981.

The music remains very ethereal and the tracks are still very emotional, always sung in the Welsh dialect.They seem to move a bit away from the previous GENESIS-styled electric guitar moves for a more MIKE OLDFIELD-like atmosphere, based on soft leads and moving solos.There is some pretty good balance in the bucolic enviromernt they produced, a nice combination of delicate flute parts, pastoral acoustic passages, soft keyboards and shiny electric textures, supported often by a nice dose of percussions.The atmosphere ranges from extremely rural, almost archaic tunes with flutes and acoustic guitars in evidence to more up-to-date soundscapes with the electric guitars and keyboards taking over, always condemned to produce sensitive and harmonic music.Maybe the album lacks in dynamics and the overall result is pretty mellow for the casual prog listener, but the content is well-crafted and detailed.Vocals are excellent and sentimental, like on the previous work, but there is plenty of space for instrumental images, the band was trully professional on creating elegant and melodic arrangements.''Symffoni lawen'' comes a beautiful highlight here, filled with unique vocal lines, smooth organ and fairytale acoustic parts.

Nice, albeit a bit too soft, Welsh Prog Folk.I still fail to compare this band to any other Folk-oriented group in terms of emotional content and that is a good thing.Recommended to all lovers of atmospheric, moving but always well-arranged soundscapes...3.5 stars.

Report this review (#1288085)
Posted Sunday, October 5, 2014 | Review Permalink

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