Thanks to Candlelight Records for getting this one out to us to give a listen to.
Cruachan is an Irish Pagan/Celtic/Folk Metal band from Dublin, Ireland with an extended collection of releases, but I am fairly new to the band. They have been active since the 1990s actually, and are acclaimed as being one of the founders of the Folk Metal subgenre. They rely of Celtic themes and Celtic mythology in their lyrics. I am not a big fan of the grandiose, over-the-top sound of a lot of Folk Metal bands, so thankfully, Cruachan is not very symphonic, although they do have some symphonic elements. I would even dare to say that they have some Black Metal tendencies, but they are surely not a Black Metal band. Seeing them live, you would see them in full Irish garb including kilts.
Blood On The Black Robe is the seventh full-length release by Cruachan with a few demos, singles and compilations as well. Overall, the album is very fun filled with nice musicianship and acceptable vocals. I would be more keen on this band with some better vocal stylings, but like I said, the vocals are acceptable.
As far as individual songs go, I am a big fan of the title track, Blood On The Black Robe. It has a few really nice riffs with some subtle symphonic elements thrown in. You almost have an Iron Maiden vibe going on this song (in a way). The track is under 7 minutes long, but does have an epic feel to it. Primeval Odium is another song that I can really get behind. It has a nice feel to it. I think that the album is more enjoyable as a whole though instead of on an individual song basis though.
Keith Fay – guitars, keyboards, vocals, bodhrÃ¡n, mandolin, percussion
John Clohessy – bass
Colin Purcell – drums, percussion
John Ryan Will – tin whistle, violin, banjo, bouzouki, keyboards
John O’ Fathaigh – tin whistle
1.Â Â Â To War (0:55)
2.Â Â Â I Am Warrior (5:19)
3.Â Â Â The Column (7:12)
4.Â Â Â Thy Kingdom Gone (4:26)
5.Â Â Â An Bean Sidhe (5:50)
6.Â Â Â Blood On The Black Robe (6:39)
7.Â Â Â Primeval Odium (7:18)
8.Â Â Â The Voyage Of Bran (4:20)
9.Â Â Â Brian Boruâ€™s March (3:29)
10.Â Â Â Pagan Hate (5:12)
11.Â Â Â The Nine Year War (7:21)