Cruachan

Cruachan-Nine Years of Blood

Irish Black Metal at its finest. Starting with I am Tuan, acoustic intro and then the heavy guitar harmonies and drums that signal the start of the album, the listener immediately knows that they are going to be in for a treat. Next, you have a history lesson in Hugh O’Neil Earl of Tyrone, famous for his rebellion. The rhythms reflect the story, sharp, contrasting, creating a sense of urgency. Blood and Victory is haunting, melancholic but also a cry to arms, and a song that would get people moving when played live. Queen of War has a traditional start, then moves through the gears until it is a monster of a song, reflecting the talents of singer Keith Fay.

The Battle of Yellow Ford reflects the story it tells, starting with a staccato beginning, then moving into full gallop and epicness as the song picks up speed to match the pace of the battle, another song that deserves a full airing live. Cath na Brioscaí starts of slowly, hauntingly and melancholic then picks up the pace and moves into driving and heavy, allowing the guitarist Keiran Ball a chance to shine as it does John Ryan. The Harp, The Lion, The Dragon and The Sword is a good song for a singalong, the introduction begins with the title, and moves into a shuffle and gallop, true to form, the song is brilliant. An Ale Before Battle is a fantastic drinking song.

The Siege of Kinsale brings forth more history, the elements of classic Irish tradition are laid bare for all to see, and the result is a mish-mash of epicness. Flight of the Earls continues the theme first explored in Siege of Kinsale and takes things to a whole new level, an epic song. Back Home in Derry is a celebration and a tribute, a brimming song filled with emotion and heart. Closing with Nine Years of Blood and the end of a fitting tribute to history and the ravages of war.

Be sure to get this album when it is released on 27th April via Trollzorn.

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