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Cruachan - The Middle Kingdom (re-issue)

=Staff's pick

A Celtic Mourning
Celtica (Voice Of The Morrigan)
The Fianna
A Druids Passing
Is Fuair An Chroi
Cattle Raid Of Cooley (Táin Bó Cuailgne)*
The Middle Kingdom
Óró Sé Do Bheatha Abhaile
Unstabled (Steeds Of Macha)
The Butterfly
To Hell Or To Connaught

Genre Celtic Folk Metal
K. Gilligan, Keith Fay
Tracks 11
Keith Fay
Runningtime 48 Min.
Label Karmageddon Media
John Clohessy
Release 08 March 2004
Joe Farrell
Country Ireland
John O'Fathaigh
Irish flute
Similar artists Freedom Call, Rhapsody, Stratovarius

Why?, is my first response toward this album. The album was released in 2000, so why release a re-issue of it? And seriously speaking, is it really good enough to go for another round? It gets the other way around as my reference on Cruachan is turned around hearing the latest and most recent release Pagan before the re-issue of The Middle Kingdom, so bare with me.

It is a terrible start with bagpipes screaming for four minutes, come on it isn't that beautiful now is it? This album lacks all the good melodies and power that Pagan has, the singing is even worse here and the production, well if it was bad with Pagan and this one is four years older so, take a guess. Where Cruachan actually succeeds best is with the instrumental track Cattle Raid Of Cooley, it is actually a relief when you get rid of the vocals and can just focus on the mix with Celtic and metal.

Im sure that Cruachan has something important to tell with their lyrics but with the bad singing and the terrible attempts to create a metal folk hybrid I not gonna hang around to find out. One thing that you must hold in defence for Cruachan is that they actually do posses the skill of traditional Celtic music, in the calmer and free from metal pieces it is actually musically good, even if the vocals aren't the best. But it is with the attempt to combine the Celtic music with the heavy metal it all fails, so forget about The Middle Kingdome and skip right to Pagan instead, at least there they are starting to comprehend the mixture of the two styles.

See also review of: The Morrigan's Call , Pagan






3 chalices of 10 - Thomas

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