Header

THE MORRIGAN

Prog Folk • United Kingdom


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

The Morrigan picture
The Morrigan biography
The MORRIGAN's music is a lively mixture of traditional Celtic folk with prog rock, sometimes leaning heavily in either direction. Their sound is distinctly original and full of magic vocals, their music made up of warm melodies wrapped up in rich arrangements (sometimes of their own composition, sometimes re-arranged traditional folk songs). Imagine a heavier sounding STEELEYE SPAN and then move them up a notch on the prog scale. The band originated in 1984 when Tom Foad, a guitarist from hard-rock/metal band The AVALANCHE, was looking for something a little more acoustic. Soon, singer/musician Cathy Alexander joined him, followed by bassist Cliff Eastabrook. However, Foad's commitments to his previous band proved to be too time consuming and so, he was replaced by guitarist/keyboardist Colin Masson (who, by the way, has done all the artwork for the band's albums). In addition to Alexander and Masson who are still with the band after two decades, two out of three excellent full-time musicians who feature on their latest album have since left. Their website, however, promises a new album soon.

There is a definite progression in maturity, compositional skill, musicianship and overall quality as you work your way up the band's albums, starting with "The Spirit of the Soup" ('85) which features the band's early days as a trio - no drummer - up to their masterpiece "Hidden Agenda" (02) featuring keyboards, flute, electric and 12-string guitar, bass and drums, and of course, Cathy Alexander's beautiful voice. The MORRIGAN's music is accessible and leans on the harder, rockier side of folk with full-blown prog structures, complex arrangements and excellent musicianship. Albums to check out are the three jewels "Hidden Agenda", "Masque" and "Wreckers", where the listener alternately hears everything from traditional rock instruments to less familiar ones such as trombone, Egyptian drums, tambourine, violin, accordion, banjo, traingle, tympani or talking drums.

Particularly recommended to fans of STEELEYE SPAN, FAIRPORT CONVENTION, HORSLIPS and TEMPEST.

: : : Lise (HIBOU), CANADA : : :

The Morrigan official website

THE MORRIGAN MP3, Free Download (music stream)


Open extended player in a new pop-up window | Random Playlist (50) | How to submit new MP3s
No MP3/Stream available for this artist.
Collaborate with Progarchives.com, learn how to submit new MP3s.

THE MORRIGAN forum topics / tours, shows & news


THE MORRIGAN forum topics Create a topic now
THE MORRIGAN tours, shows & news
No topics found for : "the morrigan"
Post an entries now

THE MORRIGAN Videos (YouTube and more)


Showing only random 3 | Search and add more videos to THE MORRIGAN

Buy THE MORRIGAN Music


By Land Or By SeaBy Land Or By Sea
Folkways Records 2012
Audio CD$13.77
$43.56 (used)
by land or by sea: music in the tradition of the british isles LPby land or by sea: music in the tradition of the british isles LP
FOLKWAYS
Vinyl$12.00 (used)
Just Tell MeJust Tell Me
CD Baby 2011
Audio CD$8.49
$29.46 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
CRUACHAN THE MORRIGAN'S CALL CD JAPAN OBI OOP MINT NEW 2006 SPIRITUAL BEAST NEW US $13.00 [1 bids]
1 day
!!! LOOK !!! MORRIGAN The Damned LP PRIMORDIAL AMON THYRFING FEN MAYHEMIC TRUTH US $20.00 [0 bids]
2 days
Morrigan - "Diananns Whisper" LP US $23.00 Buy It Now 2 days
L'ALBA DI MORRIGAN - ESSENCE REMAINS NEW CD US $22.34 Buy It Now 4 days
L'alba di Morrigan - The Essence Remains CD 2012 post rock atmosphere US $12.95 Buy It Now 4 days
LP Morrigan -- By Land or by Sea -- trad - British Isles-- Folkways US $39.95 Buy It Now 4 days
L'ALBA DI MORRIGAN-THE ESSENCE REMAINS US $2.99 [0 bids]
US $4.99 Buy It Now
5 days
L'alba Di Morrigan - The Essence Remains NEW CD US $18.91 Buy It Now 6 days
CRUACHAN - MORRIGAN'S TALE NEW CD US $29.23 Buy It Now 6 days
THE TRUE FROST in eternal strife SPLATTER LP moonblood morrigan eternity marduk US $59.99 Buy It Now 6 days
THE MORRIGAN Rides Out 1990 US $14.91 Buy It Now 7 days
Morrigan - The Damned CD RARE! Bathory Celtic Frost Graven Nargaroth Falkenbach US $9.99 Buy It Now 7 days
Cruachan - The Morrigan's Call CD [ Pagan Folk Metal TYR Arkona Turisas Bathory] US $7.99 Buy It Now 7 days
L`ALBA DI MORRIGAN - THE ESSENCE REMAINS - ECHO080 US $17.16 Buy It Now 8 days
WITCHBURNER s/t RED LP LIMIT 200 COPIES desaster cruel force nocturnal morrigan US $45.00 Buy It Now 8 days
L'Alba Di Morrigan - The Essence Remains (NEW CD) US $20.30 Buy It Now 8 days
STORMHEIT - Kvenland Morrigan Bathory Enslaved Taake US $10.90 Buy It Now 8 days
THE MORRIGAN Rides Out UK PRIVATE FOLK ROCK PROG LP US $75.00 Buy It Now 9 days
Morrigan / Enter The Sea Of Flames ORG CD Mayhem US $18.00 [0 bids]
9 days
Morrigan / Plague, Waste And Death 2nd press CD Mayhem US $18.00 [0 bids]
9 days
L'Alba Di Morrigan - Essence Remains CD US $18.56 Buy It Now 9 days
Cranky & Morrigan - History One JAPAN 2CD 2003 WAVE-00005-6 - Dojin music Doujin US $25.52 Buy It Now 11 days
Essence Remains - L'Alba Di Morrigan New & Sealed CD-JEWEL CASE Free Shipping US $22.74 Buy It Now 12 days
MORRIGAN - Welcome to Samhain NOCTERNITY ENSLAVED WYRD US $11.90 Buy It Now 13 days
MORRIGAN war in paradise CD 4 track featuring throwing it all away, paradise, mi US $8.96 Buy It Now 14 days
Morrigan - By Land or By Sea / 1980 Folkways British Isles Folk LP US $29.95 Buy It Now 15 days
MORRIGAN - HEADCULT CD US $9.90 Buy It Now 15 days
Morrigan-Diananns Whisper CD German Black/Celtic type band. US $8.99 Buy It Now 16 days
MORRIGAN - Diananns Whisper CD bathory mayhem inquisition marduk US $12.99 Buy It Now 16 days
L'Alba Di Morrigan - Essence Remains [CD New] US $17.75 Buy It Now 17 days
BLIZZARD "Fu*k the Universe" CD morrigan abigail desaster US $16.58 Buy It Now 20 days
VOLH - Solemn march into the Ragnarok morrigan wyrd US $8.90 Buy It Now 20 days
Cruachan: The Morrigan's Call CD 2007 Candlelight USA Records CDL343CD NEW US $9.95 Buy It Now 20 days
L'alba Di Morrigan - The Essence Remains NEW CD US $16.73 Buy It Now 20 days
Cruachan - Morrigan's Call The (Music CD) US $21.86 Buy It Now 20 days
alba Di Morrigan (L) - Essence Remains (Music CD) US $24.43 Buy It Now 21 days
MORRIGAN The Damned CD bathory blizzard US $11.99 Buy It Now 23 days
THE MORRIGAN "Masque" IMPORT cd US $19.70 Buy It Now 23 days
THE MORRIGAN "Wreckers" IMPORT cd US $13.99 Buy It Now 23 days
MORRIGAN "Diananns Whisper" CD bathory falkenbach US $16.58 Buy It Now 24 days
BLIZZARD "Fu*k the Universe" LP morrigan abigail gehennah US $22.39 Buy It Now 24 days
MORRIGAN "The Damned" LP mayhemic truth abigail bathory US $25.70 Buy It Now 24 days
CORPUS CHRISTII "Rising" 2 X LP morrigan emperor US $29.85 Buy It Now 24 days
DESASTER angelwhore CLEAR LP limit 200 pentacle sabbat mayhemic truth morrigan US $85.00 Buy It Now 26 days
Morrigan-HeadCult CD The Bathory-influenced spells are beyond the mountain US $8.99 Buy It Now 27 days
L'ALBA DI MORRIGAN - THE ESSENCE REMAINS - NEW CD US $14.77 Buy It Now 27 days
THE MORRIGAN'S CALL - NEW CD US $18.67 Buy It Now 27 days
Morrigan: The Damned CD 2007 Undercover Records Germany UCR CD 055-1 US $9.95 Buy It Now 27 days
THE MORRIGAN - Spirit Of The Soup | RARE Celtic prog psych folk ltd. to 500 LP US $24.98 Buy It Now 27 days
MORRIGAN - FORGODEN ART CD Self-released/independent 1999 MEGA RARE US $22.99 Buy It Now 28 days
FOLKEARTH - Fatherland FOREFATHER MORRIGAN BATHORY US $9.90 Buy It Now 28 days
L'Alba di Morrigan - The Essence Remains CD Decadent Post Metal!!! US $6.99 Buy It Now 28 days
VOICE OF MORRIGAN - ORGETOS CD US $6.99 Buy It Now 29 days
MORRIGAN Spirit Of The Soup UK Folk LP US $34.99 Buy It Now 29 days
The Morrigan's Call - Cruachan New & Sealed Compact Disc Free Shipping US $28.35 Buy It Now 29 days
Morrigan - "Diananns Whisper" CD US $10.00 Buy It Now 29 days

More places to buy THE MORRIGAN music online Buy THE MORRIGAN & Prog Rock Digital Music online:
  • AmazonMP3: Search for THE MORRIGAN DRM-Free MP3 Downloads @ AmazonMP3 (USA Only) | AmazonMP3 (UK Only)

THE MORRIGAN shows & tickets


THE MORRIGAN has no upcoming shows, according to LAST.FM syndicated events and shows feed

THE MORRIGAN discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

THE MORRIGAN top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 8 ratings
Spirit Of The Soup
1985
3.68 | 8 ratings
Rides Out
1990
3.25 | 4 ratings
Wreckers
1996
3.56 | 7 ratings
Masque
1998
4.00 | 8 ratings
Hidden Agenda
2002

THE MORRIGAN Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

THE MORRIGAN Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

THE MORRIGAN Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

THE MORRIGAN Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.00 | 1 ratings
War In Paradise
1993
2.75 | 4 ratings
A Midwinter Spell
2010

THE MORRIGAN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Hidden Agenda by MORRIGAN, THE album cover Studio Album, 2002
4.00 | 8 ratings

BUY
Hidden Agenda
The Morrigan Prog Folk

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

4 stars After retrenching somewhat for a couple of releases, the MORRIGAN released their most ambitious and eclectic effort to date in "Hidden Agenda". The turbocharged Celtic style remains in several instrumental tracks but with more jazzy arrangements at times comparable to MOVING HEARTS from an earlier time, as the lunatics have decided to run the asylum and it's about time.

The alterations are notable from the opening cut "Swallow's Tail" in which synthesizers and electric guitars predominate and familiar traditional melodies partner up with reggae beats and soaring leads. The band has never glowed to this degree, and the effect is repeated on "Volta". But the real breakthroughs occur in "In the End/Tristan's Lament", "A Night to Remember", and "The Other", in which a certain classicism and theatrical flair is discerned for the first time, and the sound incorporates symphonic and neo prog tendencies while remaining fresh. Mervyn B and Cathy Alexander share duties and both shine in roles seemingly written for them.

"In the End"'s mood is one of breathless yet dreamlike urgency and some of the instrumental sections incorporate middle eastern themes, at times reminiscent of ERIS PLUVIA's early work. "A Night to Remember" is shockingly even more ambitious, beginning with a classical flourish which is carried throughout to varying degrees. It's probably Cathy Alexander's defining moment with the MORRIGAN as her account of a seafaring vessel in trouble, and by extension perhaps the British Empire, recalls the irreverence of MADDY PRIOR's renditions of "Saucy Sailor/Black Freighter" of bygone days but ratchets it up a notch.

With this release, the MORRIGAN's courting of progressive rock is no longer a very well hidden agenda, so I suggest that most readers begin their exploration of this fine band right here. For the folk purists who might be slumming here, work your way chronologically to this point so as to avoid losing your spectacles in this stampede. Highly recommended, simply transcendent music.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 Spirit Of The Soup by MORRIGAN, THE album cover Studio Album, 1985
3.00 | 8 ratings

BUY
Spirit Of The Soup
The Morrigan Prog Folk

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

4 stars Comparable to early STEELEYE SPAN albums recorded without drums, the MORRIGAN's debut is a surprisingly cohesive and mature effort in which the band never strays far from its folk roots but easily manages to eclipse most if not all traditional fare in vibrancy and creativity. the lack of standard percussion envelopes the melodies in an eerie calm, addition by subtraction, and allows the group to focus on building their own identity. But "Spirit of the Soup" is a demure suitor, preferring to be approached and cuddled, notwithstanding a few romps.

The two longest cuts are the major highlights. "The Executioner's Song" begins as a meditation thanks to reedy synthesizers, but transforms into a moody epic with Alexander accompanied those keys and rocky bass, while the album closer "The Great Sun" is a lesson in vocal harmonies that would increasingly focus the group in future releases. IT reminds me of earth oriented feminist music from the 1980's though I can't quite pinpoint whom. "Off the Rails" is a silly but fun ditty that is far better than STEELEYE"s throwaway numbers ever were, while "Agincourt" and the early version of "Dribbles of Brandy" confirm that the MORRIGAN are well capable of all our rocking even at this early stage, and MASSON's guitars are fiery if not yet as OLDFIELD oriented as they would later become.

I do not shun the spirit, but in this first MORRIGAN album we also have the aroma, flavor, and, indeed, the love of the soup. Do not by pass it if you are a fan of singular interpretations of Celtic folk rock.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 Masque by MORRIGAN, THE album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.56 | 7 ratings

BUY
Masque
The Morrigan Prog Folk

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

3 stars I had suggested earlier that the MORRIGAN were a superior Celtic rock band if only because they employed a female vocalist without coercing her to levitate in the mists a la ENYA, later CLANNAD, LOREENA MCKENITT, IONA or myriad others. I suppose it was just a matter of time before Cathy Alexander became part of a marketing plan, as she does on "Masque", but we are lucky in two ways: she sings a lot less than normal and her intrinsic value pierces the aforementioned mists often enough.

Another aspect of the group that is evolving is COLIN MASSON's subscription to the MIKE OLDFIELD school of lead guitar, most in evidence on the fascinating title cut with its imposing blend of moods and eras. It also returns on the much weaker "Demon Lover", which sounds nothing like the well known trad song on which it is based, and is none the better for it. Mervyn B hoists the lead microphone on "Moonghost", and it works wonderfully as a part sea shanty part driving prog cut. Cathy Alexander's peak moment is the mysterious "Lykewake Dirge", which is much in the style of a moody STEELEYE SPAN circa "Below the Salt", but even more medieval sounding. The instrumental highlight is "Dribbles of Brandy", which is an exuberant romp that includes brass and accordion and a worthy successor to MOVING HEARTS' and ALAN STIVELL classics from a decade or two earlier. In contrast we must cope with the overdone and half baked "She Moved through the Fair", the lukewarm grasp at mid period RENAISSANCE in "The traveller", or the pleasant but forgettable "Blarney Pilgrim", which clearly fail to leverage the MORRIGAN's clout.

While superior overall to "Wreckers", "Masque" cannot disguise the band's occasional tendency to spread itself a bit too thin as well as choose questionable material or arrangements. Still, it's easily recommended to fans of Celtic rock with progressive leanings.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 Wreckers by MORRIGAN, THE album cover Studio Album, 1996
3.25 | 4 ratings

BUY
Wreckers
The Morrigan Prog Folk

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

3 stars THE MORRIGAN, spurred by Colin Masson's aggressive guitars, Cathy Alexander's versatile vocals, and a sturdy rhythm section and keyboards owing more to rock than folk, continue to tackle mostly traditional tunes on "Wreckers", while also taking on much more contemporary material.

Successes can be found in both realms - the title cut is fresh and provocative and demands multiple listens; "Yarrow" is based on a profoundly simple up and back melody and engages with crisp acoustic guitar backing from the outset; "Cold Haily Windy Night" is a sultry fast paced seafaring tale with a playful backing, irresistible picking by Masson and spirited woodwinds; and "When the Rain Comes Down" is a much more modern reggae inflected song reminiscent of SALLY OLDFIELD in the vocals and late 1970s CAMEL or even KERRS PINK in the slick but moving synth passages. However, a few of the trad pieces are simply bores whatever the value of the story - "Banks of Green Willow" seems like an interminable recitation, while "Cold Blows the Wind" is based on a tune that almost every Celtic music fan has heard too much of and it's one of the less memorable renditions at that. "Wheels Turning" completely eschews the trademark sound and is almost rockabilly in parts, and earns a few points for verve but little else. It sounds exactly like somebody but I can't figure out whom! The instrumentals which open and close the album could be from almost any Celtic band of their time.

While this follow up to "Rides Out" doesn't wreck the band's reputation, it certainly doesn't propel them forward like one would have hoped. However, the presence of several superb cuts earns "Wreckers" the right to 3 stars and a return appearance or two.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 Rides Out  by MORRIGAN, THE album cover Studio Album, 1990
3.68 | 8 ratings

BUY
Rides Out
The Morrigan Prog Folk

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

4 stars Ever since FAIRPORT CONVENTION timidly dipped their toes into Celtic folk rock oceans in 1968, bands have expounded upon, indeed shattered the template many times over, and deftly carved progressive veins into their rock. Without pretensions to exhaustiveness on my part, STEELEYE SPAN and HORSLIPS broke more ground in the 1970s, MOVING HEARTS and RUNRIG in the 1980s, and the MORRIGAN in the 1990s. The feminine voice is no gimmick here. While Cathy Alexander's do hit the mark, this would be just as good with a male lead singer, arguably unlike MOSTLY AUTUMN and KARNATAKA, who were never full time Celts anyway.

This is electrified high energy music that blasts out jigs, reels, ballads and rock songs in a decidedly organic manner. Lead guitar and a host of plugged in keyboards lean appealingly against the varied traditional instrumentation and melodies and aggressively squeeze out their essence like that juicer you never thought you would need again.

While all but a few of the more objective interpretations are appealing, I especially enjoy hearing well known tunes put to hitherto unanticipated lyrics and beats. Among these are the reggae splashed "Night Comes Closer"; the vocal harmony stunner "The Well Below the Valley", which I never thought I would want to hear again in any form; and "Tom O'Bedlam", the creepy centuries old tale of an insane asylum. But the unfamiliar ones have become fast friends - "Girls will you Take Him/Four Time Over" and "Corpus Christi" solidify the choral and arranging skills of the band, the latter particularly in the bass and percussion department.

Rare are the bands with one foot entirely in the past and the other boldly in the future, but this is where the MORRIGAN stands comfortably and more than a little edgily.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 Hidden Agenda by MORRIGAN, THE album cover Studio Album, 2002
4.00 | 8 ratings

BUY
Hidden Agenda
The Morrigan Prog Folk

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 'Hidden Agenda' - The Morrigan (8/10)

At the time of releasing 'Hidden Agenda', progressive Celt rockers The Morrigan had already been together for nearly twenty years. Returning again once every few years to come back with another album, The Morrigan have never been the most prolific bunch, but they have always released music that is gorged with charm. Although the musical strength has varied, there has been a steady increase in the band's strength as the years have gone by, and it culminates here with the group's fifth album; 'Hidden Agenda'. While keeping a similar formula in structure and style to previous works, The Morrigan has never before achieved such a level of strength at what they do, coupling powerful songwriting with good performance values and evident experience. The result is an album that finally aptly reflects the band's potential.

Since their inception, The Morrigan have made their mission to merge Celtic folk traditions with progressive rock; a lofty goal, to say the least. More often than not, this has led to their albums being a revolving door of Celtic jigs and typical prog rock moments; doing both rather well, but ultimately failing to merge the two in a successful marriage. 'Hidden Agenda' finally realizes this, as can be heard from the combination of shoegazey guitars, and traditional recorder playing. For an album that appears to be a large improvement over its predecessors however, not much has changed in the overall formula. 'Hidden Agenda' still begins with the necessary upbeat Celtic instrumental overture, then digresses into story-driven vocal tracks and rock-oriented renditions of traditional songs.

One place where 'Hidden Agenda' really makes its mark is during its highly successful mini-epic, 'A Night To Remember'. Based on the tragedy of the sinking Titantic, the nine minute piece details a chilling narrative of the boat's fatal voyage, as well as multiple perspectives. Musically as well, there is a much greater majesty to what The Morrigan do here; a larger scale sense of composition that makes 'A Night To Remember' feel like a genuine epic as opposed to an overstretched song. I have always found that The Morrigan's focus on telling stories with their music was always a strength, but it seems to have taken a backseat since the debut 'Spirit Of The Soup'. In any case, the band makes up for it here by creating a piece here that manages to capture the desparation of the story, but keeps things ironically upbeat and catchy.

Anyone who has heard the music of The Morrigan before will expect a great vocal presentation from the band, and here they shall receive. Cathy Alexander has a fantastic and distinctive style of singing that only adds to the Celtic flair of this band. It does feel as if 'Hidden Agenda' faces some of the same weaker aspects that have always plagued them, such as a few inconsistent tracks here and there that feel slightly too derivative of Celtic traditional music. Flaws aside however, there's no doubt in my mind that The Morrigan's most recent album is also their definitive work.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 Masque by MORRIGAN, THE album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.56 | 7 ratings

BUY
Masque
The Morrigan Prog Folk

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 'Masque' - The Morrigan (7/10)

The fourth album by this UK progressive folk band, 'Masque' shows The Morrigan's style developing, if even only a bit. After a strong album with 'Wreckers', the band returns another few years later to give another solid album, this time pushing the traditional Celtic jigs they built the first three albums up upon, and diversifying their catalogue. There's no doubt that 'Masque' is the most progressive album The Morrigan had done up to this point, although not every change the band makes here is for the best.

Although changes have been made, the sound here is still explicitly Morrigan in nature. Still here are the pastoral acoustic guitar segments, soaring traditional vocals of vocalist Cathy Alexander, and the very Celtic vibe that really defines what the band's music is all about. At the sacrifice of the Celtic saturation, there are now greater roots in progressive rock, and even such disparate sounds as Gregorian chant singing and the more martial sounds of neofolk. All of this makes 'Masque' feel like The Morrigan's strongest work when compared the the three that had come earlier, but in terms of the enjoyment factor, it is on par with 'Wreckers'. Gone are much of the energetic recorder-driven jigs that were always very fun to listen to, and authentic feel of the folk elements. Instead, there's something here that hasn't quite been heard from the band before.

'Masque' opens up with its title track, which seems to bring the listener into a sort of prog rock feudal feast hall, with guitars and keyboards blazing with whistles sounding in between. While it may turn some off on first impression, there is also something of a religious vibe that the album gives. Be it through the Latin chants or traditional European spirituals The Morrigan puts to use here, there is a Christian based theme on the album, as first impressions go. However, it is put to a good use here; instead sounding as if it is meant to enhance the feudal sound of the album rather than convert anyone.

Easily the most rock-based Morrigan album I have thus listened to, not to mention the most musically complex and ambitious. While it doesn't have the sort of charm that 'Wreckers' did, it shows the band taking steps in the right direction.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 Wreckers by MORRIGAN, THE album cover Studio Album, 1996
3.25 | 4 ratings

BUY
Wreckers
The Morrigan Prog Folk

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 'Wreckers' - The Morrigan (7/10)

Back with a third album after a six year wait from the second, progressive folk rockers The Morrigan are back with 'Wreckers', fueling their Celtic roots with the energy and complexity of prog. An album that feels like a step back towards the folky side than the rock they experimented with on 'Rides Out', this is the first time that The Morrigan have really left an impression on me. The band had been in intermittent activity for over a decade at this point, and the band experience is reflected here fully, although there is still the feeling that things could have been improved upon further.

As has been mentioned in another review, this feels more like the spiritual sequel to The Morrigan's debut 'Spirit Of The Soup', rather than the third album. While regressing back a step usually isn't a good sign for most bands, in this case it does really have a positive benefit. In 'Rides Out', I generally felt that the rock wasn't nearly powerful enough to warrant cutting out the Celtic beauty that defines their sound. Instead here, there is the energy that was lacking on the debut, but conveyed through the Celtic instrumentation of the recorder and a myriad of other folky instruments.

Although the Celtic melodies and parts are highly derivative of traditional songs, that is part of what makes 'Wreckers' an enjoyable experience. Seen her is the inately 'foward-thinking' sound of prog rock (as can be heard through the use of keyboards) and an ancient sound that still holds as much appeal today as it did back in feudal times. Leading this foray into the Celtic culture is vocalist Cathy Alexander, who has not changed up her act much since the debut, but remains a strong singer that really works for the sound of The Morrigan. Also here is 'Cold Blows The Wind', a new rendition of an older track they previously did, although it is a pleasure to hear this track redone in a more professional setting.

While the album may have the cohesion of 'Rides Out' an d the musical beauty of 'Spirit Of The Soup', it still feels as if something is missing from the album that keeps it from being truly remarkable. Perhaps it is the generally straightforward approach to the songwriting employed here, or the rather cheap sounding keyboard sounds, but these do not prevent 'Wreckers' from being an enjoyable musical experience through and through.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 Rides Out  by MORRIGAN, THE album cover Studio Album, 1990
3.68 | 8 ratings

BUY
Rides Out
The Morrigan Prog Folk

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 'Rides Out' - The Morrigan (6/10)

With the debut 'Spirit Of The Soup', British folk rock group The Morrigan proved that they were indeed full of potential, but still had a very scattered and somewhat aimless approach to what they did. As is expecting of all sophomores, The Morrigan has polished up their work somewhat. Instead of the haphazard collection of musical ideas presented in 'Spirit Of The Soup', The Morrigan's second record 'Rides Out' is more fucused, and allows the band to show themselves in a more professional light. Unfortunately, somewhere over the process of tightening up the reins, they have lost some of the magic that was so evident in parts of the debut.

The most evident change in the band's sound is the addition of many more rock influences than was ever heard on The Morrigan's first record. The Celtic folk here still runs strong and defines almost everything The Morrigan does, but it is now commonplace to hear the band play some riffs that wouldn't sound out of place on the typical rock album. The need for more energy in the music was always something I felt ground against the debut, but the heavier guitar riffs here often do not really feel as if they mesh too well with the beautiful Celtic instrumentation.

The showcase of many songs is the brilliant and appropriate voice of Cathy Alexander, but the instrumentation is often strong in parts. Bassist Cliff Eastabrook has some great parts in the Celtic reggae crossover 'Night Comes Closer'. Colin Masson's generally fantastic guitar skills are not represented here too well, but there is some beautiful acoustic guitar work that pops up every so often. While the album's sense of cohesion and energy have been both kicked up a notch, it does feel as if The Morrigan has lost something in the course of developing. There were a few brilliant tracks on 'Spirit' that make me wish the same sort of standout tracks were here as well. In part, it may be because The Morrigan does the mellow thing better than they do energetic rock, but the overall impression is that there is not quite as much of an improvement here as I may have wished. 'Rides Out' has still been quite a pleasant experience from these Celtic prog rockers, in any case.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 Spirit Of The Soup by MORRIGAN, THE album cover Studio Album, 1985
3.00 | 8 ratings

BUY
Spirit Of The Soup
The Morrigan Prog Folk

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 'Spirit Of The Soup' - The Morrigan (5/10)

The middle of the 1980s is certainly not a time all too many people remember as a great time for Celtic rock. While the airwaves were largely dominated by the darlings of the then- infantile MTV, UK progressive folk band The Morrigan began their musical journey in earnest. Originally coming to the music of this band through the more recent solo work of their guitarist Colin Masson, I was quite intrigued to listen to The Morrigan, and have started my journey with their 1985 debut, 'Spirit Of The Soup'. While the atmospheric Celtic vibe is here in gratuitous amounts, 'Spirit Of The Soup' does really give the impression of being the work of a band that is still trying to get their feet on the ground.

'Spirit' is comprised of a series of tracks which typically make use of Celtic instrumentation and lyrical storytelling, courtesy of the brilliantly fitting voice of Cathy Alexander. Each song is a mellow outing, driven by ambient keyboards, whistles and acoustic guitars. There is even a tinge of a new wave sound in some tracks, such as the opener 'Cold Haily Windy Night', which features a pumped bass line under waves of guitar flanger. Most of these tracks are quiet and ambient however, relying almost entirely on the voice of Alexander for melody and hooks. Unfortunately, while some of these songs do amount to some authentic Celtic beauty, very few of the tracks ever feel as if they're completed pieces, instead coming across more like musical ideas thrown into a mix and put on record.

While the tracks rarely feel like completed compositions, a few manage to get a very nice lyrical theme going on for them. 'Cold Blows The Wind' is one of my favourites from this album; an acoustic ballad telling the story of a lost love. Being of a Celtic origin myself, I am well-versed in this style of traditional songwriting, and The Morrigan gives an authentic feeling here. The album generally suffers from being too mellow and lacks the energy throughout that endears so many to the Celtic traditional music. A few pieces of music get the caffeine flowing, such as 'Dribbles Of Brandy'; a fast paced ditty led onward by the recorder.

I cannot say that The Morrigan has given the greatest impression with 'Spirit Of The Soup' due to its feeling of incompletion as an album, as well as its incredibly mellow approach. However, while the album may not necessarily be entirely enjoyable from start to finish, the album is a raw palette of some charming ideas. Fortunately, the band's style would go on to be developed greatly upon latter albums.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Joolz for the last updates

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | GeoIP Services by MaxMind | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — the ultimate jazz music virtual community | MetalMusicArchives.com — the ultimate metal music virtual community


Server processing time: 1.56 seconds