Released: 2007, Candlelight Records
As much as I hate to give any LARP-metal a good review…I feel as if I have to with THE MORRIGAN’S CALL. The untapped potential of Cruachan has been well-documented (and quite accurately) all over the realm of metal zines and loud rock media: Cruachan records just haven’t delivered the Gaelic-inspired metal that they’ve promised over the years. THE MORRIGAN’S CALL, however, should begin to silence those accusations.
As per usual with Cruachan there’s no dearth of creativity, or cheesiness for that matter: the songs are jolly, daft, unconventional, folkish, and, for the first time, decidedly less lame*.
Sonically, Cruachan have released a traditional metal album…but they’ve made it their own by (for the first time) successfully influxing all that Celtic crap they’ve become so synonymous with. Shitloads of fucked up instruments are used (should put Dead can Dance to shame): bodhran, mandolin, bouzouki, banjo, flute, and violin. The vocals, both female and male, for the most part (when not growled) are just slightly off-key…as are most of the instruments on the THE MORRIGAN’S CALL. This isn’t to the detriment of the album, however, as the listener walks away with a more genuine (less polished) atmosphere…something actually akin to a group of people (larpers?) making music in an Irish forest. Somewhat refreshing after listening to Stratovarius or Hypocrisy, or some over-produced piece of shit.
THE MORRIGAN’S CALL has my recommendation. If you were annoyed by the mediocrity of THE MIDDLE KINGDOM…here’s your opportunity to give Cruachan a second chance.
Conclusion: This is a massive step in the right direction for Cruachan…my hopes are really high on the next one.
*Well, actually, “The Old Woman in the Woods” is unmistakably lame.