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The Morrigan - Rides Out CD (album) cover

RIDES OUT

The Morrigan

 

Prog Folk

3.69 | 14 ratings

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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.

Conor Fynes | 3/5 |

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