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Pererin - Haul Ar Yr Eira CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

4.06 | 19 ratings

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Prog-Folk Team
5 stars

Pererin's debut feeds off some of the more rooted material on predecessor Bran's impressive album "Hedfan", to produce a blend of psych, folk progressive, at times spacey styles that is nothing if not eclectic, but also simply stunning. Timeless melodies abound, surpassed only by the haunting manner in which they are arranged.

The very opener combines harp, acoustic and lead electric guitars, flutes and whistles as it breezes through a variety of themes in less than 3 minutes before vocals appear almost as an afterthought in the last half minute. Such is the essence of Pererin and their ability to create concise and unpredictable progressive soundscapes within a decidedly folk framework.

From here to the achingly beautiful finale sit 8 more exercises in pushing the boundaries of virtually every Anglo-Celtic folk idiom known. If I can make any comparisons it would be to some of Runrig's earlier material, except I rather doubt either group was highly influenced by the other given the timelines. It was more like a case of seasoned Celtic musicians, having being influenced by prog rock of the 1970s, deftly applying it to themes of a critical nature to their survival as a language and culture. Pererin upped the ante by singing steadfastly in Welsh, and few could argue that both the male voices of Arfon Wyn and Charli Goodall, and the inestimable high pitched Nest Llwelyn are beyond reproach. They are best when they occur together as on the eerie, mellotron bolstered "Can y Melinydd", with its hypnotic chorus. It is hard to believe this is traditional, but clearly Pererin has resurrected it and turned it on its ear.

Nest does not lay an egg when she goes it alone on the verses of the slower but equally entrancing "Ni Welaf yr Haf M", and she is joined by the men folk on the chorus. The near accapella break is quickly supplanted by truly arresting harmonies, including Nest's wordless accompaniment that leaves me speechless. Another worthy mention for progheads is "Llongay Caernarfon", which again goes the harmonious route but includes scorching leads and a rhythm to die for. The credits show that only specialized ethnic percussion is used, but conventional drums are not missed.

I could dive into detail on all the others, but suffice to say you must hear them, as the juxtaposition of styles and tempos could not be more skillfully presented, both within and between songs in the running order.

Pererin is nothing if not obscure, and their debut is now the hardest to find. While we can safely say that a financial windfall did not result from this or their subsequent efforts, they succeeded brilliantly in revitalizing the music of their homeland by fusing it to progressive rock in what can only be described as a major artistic triumph.

kenethlevine | 5/5 |


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