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Cruachan - Folk-Lore CD (album) cover




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3.78 | 8 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
4 stars The rocky road from Dublin

With Folk-Lore, Cruachan perfected their unique fusion of traditional Celtic and Irish Folk music with Metal music. On this album they also relied on a strong Symphonic Rock element. The styles of Metal involved are themselves diverse, but the Extreme (Black) Metal style that dominated the debut album had thankfully been (almost) completely abandoned at this point in their career. The lead vocals are shared by Karen Gilligan and Keith Fey and are almost exclusively clean (growling vocals occur only briefly in Exiles).

The material on Folk-Lore is also the band's strongest with every track being powerful and memorable in its own right. The first three tracks are appealingly linked together by an instrumental reel. The production and sound quality is very good this time and thus a major improvement over earlier (and even some later) releases. Spancill Hill and Ride On feature Shane Mac Gowan from The Pouges on guest vocals. Ride On was released as a single. This unlikely but wonderful duet between Mac Gowan and Cruachan's own Karen Gilligan (plus some more aggressive vocals towards the end by Cruachan leader Keith Fey) even became something of hit for the band in their native Ireland!

Cruachan uses a number of genuine traditional wind, string, and percussion instruments here like tin whistles, flutes, Bodhran, Uilleann pipes, harp, Bouzouki, mandolin, banjo, and much more, in addition to the traditional Rock/Metal instruments of electric guitars, bass, drums, and keyboards. They also have some guests playing cello and violin. It may sound like a mess on paper, and it easily could have been, but Cruachan integrates these diverse styles brilliantly here, creating a genuine fusion between the different musical elements resulting in something totally new and interesting without ever overdoing it. The music is very diverse and eclectic, but musical unity and completeness are never sacrificed. Folk-Lore is a masterpiece of Prog related music that ought to appeal to fans of Prog Folk and progressive Metal alike.

Very highly recommended!

SouthSideoftheSky | 4/5 |


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