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Cruachan - The Morrigan's Call

Label: Candlelight Records
Format: CD
Released: 2007
Reviewed By: The Goat


I put "Morrigan's call" on as I was driving home from work the other day. The first few seconds fooled me…after the black metal growled scream, my face contorted into a rictus of agony and pain. It remained that way for the remainder of my twenty five minute commute. Other drivers probably thought I was screaming at them but in fact I was yelling at this CD.

 

This is supposedly folk metal. All I can say is "What the fuck? "

You know you're in trouble when you don't hear any positive things about a band's previous releases. This is Cruachan's fourth album. Usually by now, at this point for most bands, the sound has been established and some praise has been garnered and a progression of improvement has happened. Cruachan seems to be bucking this trend.

There is, and this is pure conjecture on my part, a female vocalist. There is also a male vocalist that sounds suspiciously like James Hetfield (I mean, I know Metallica kind of not doing anything but why front a poorly constructed Irish folk metal band?). I am struck by how much the female vocalist sounds like the Lucky Charms mascot.

I want to point out that Irish folk music when sped up with guitars sounds suspiciously like an Elementary school music teacher's song about Chinatown, think “Ching Ching Ching Chong”. In fact, this is the exact melody for "The Brown Bull of Cooley ". I am thinking that this song is about bull manure or a very large Guinness induced bowel movement. It just gets progressively worse from that point on.

Whoever the female vocalist is, she should not attempt to sing a doomier song. Case in point, “The Great Hunger” is a scattered mish mosh of weakly define doom and black metal and folk singing. It is utterly wretched. Eegads.

The worse is yet too come. ‘The Old Woman in the Woods’, while I'll not dispute may be a very esoteric folk ditty from some dusty song book, sounds like something that should appear on the Teletubbies or be sung by a big purple child molesting dinosaur. The female vocalist's voice is so high pitched that it just does not impact on the level that it probably should have. It turned the song into a farce.

Lyrically, each song attains a new level of crappiness. Listen, Creative (and I use the term loosely) Forces behind Cruachan, just because two words rhyme does not mean you need to actually use them in a song. The lyrics remind me of something I probably wrote in high school when I failed miserably at playing Dungeons and Dragons.

The music is not revolutionary at all. It breaks no new ground. As I mentioned before, the execution of the songs make them sound like parodies of speaking Chinese, you know what little kids will do when they are pretending to speak Chinese? There are moments that do show some promise but then they get so seriously screwed up that there is no remembrance of the positives.

If you are jonesing for some Irish folk metal, I would recommend that you look else where. Try Primordial. If you just have a hankering for some good folk metal, regardless of it national origin try these: Skyclad, Korpiklaani, Finntroll, Vintersorg, or any number of Scandinavian acts.

 
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