One of the Celtic folk metal pioneers Cruachan, mixing anger and atmosphere of Black Metal with folk instruments, release their new album Nine Years Of Blood. It’s the last one in trilogy (with Blood On The Black Robe and Blood For The Blood God) about Nine Years’ War between Ireland and England in 1594-1603.
The Nine Years’ War of Tyrone’s Rebellion is a war between Ireland chieftains and English occupation forces. For nine years Irish resist to a huge English army (18,000 soldiers at the peak of the war in 1600) but lose this battle. The courage, pride and fury of ancestors are not forgotten by Irish and Cruachan carols them – heroes that preferred to die but not to bend over another’s will.
The mix of two fundamental styles, albeit in different proportions, presents in every song. “Hugh O’Neill – Earl Of Tyrone” and “Blood And Victory” are typical Black Metal acts with rare inclusions of folk instruments, which are covered by gush of blast beats, raw guitar riffs and Keith Fay’s vocals.
“The Siege Of Kinsail” and “Back Home In Derry” in opposite are folk song with Irish melodies and some kind of storytelling with the music. However, solid riffs and double pedal make themselves felt from time to time. And “The Harp, The Lion, The Dragon And The Sword” is some kind of oxymoron track: enchanting Black Metal, which based, of course, on a Celtic folk melody. So it seems a pub, where Irish with typical Black Metal corpsepaint thumping with the mugs full of Guinness.
But the main Cruachan‘s merit, as for me, is not a great mix of styles and genres (although there is nothing to find fault with, everything sounds very organic and equivalent) but the fact that with this mix they masterfully drew the picture of war and transmitted the whole specter of human emotions. Here we have some “cheerful doom” (“I’ll die, but I’ll take two or three enemies with me”), an inspiration before the battle, an anger for the aliens who came to your land and the bitterness of defeat. And with this Nine Years Of Blood is especially valuable.
Nine Years Of Blood will be released on April, 27 via Trollzorn.