Just imagine: in a small Irish Pub THE POGUES, IRON BUTTERFLY, LACUNA COIL and IMMORTAL come together, to perform a little jam-session. Some of the guests quickly drink out their Guinness and take their heels, but the others listen with rapt attention and internalize the symbiosis of different kinds of music.
Just imagine further: in the year dot the quartet of CRUACHAN was also present and did not belong to that group of people, who left the pub, but ordered another Pint of beer and made some plans for the future: That is it, how music shall sound and on the next day they came together in their rehearsal-studio, to work out the "Pagan"-album.
CRUACHAN are not truly new and keep track of their self-willed style over one decade. The Irish round frontman Keith Fay und -woman Karen Gilligan reflect on their actual album increasingly to the roots. What this means, is not later than at the second song hearable. Here conglomerate - after a chorale lead-in - the different musical styles of the band to a pleasant-sounding unity: Irish Folk embosomed in straightforward Metal with slide-in units of Black Metal.
This mixture is also to be found in other songs and I have to confess, that this fits very, very well. Other spectrums, which are opened during listening to "Pagan", are these, which give the band a touch of psychedelic rock of the late 60ies. On the one hand this is managed by the insert of the flute (JETHRO TULL) and on the other hand by riff-sequences and adequate vocals, that remind me of e.g. IRON BUTTERFLY (such as "Michael Collins").
Not to forget the totally typical, Irish folk songs. The best example is "Some Say The Devil Is Dead", which is truly an earwig and shouldn't miss in any Irish Pub. But also straight Metal with feminine vocals, that invites to join in singing and banging the heads, is to find on the CD (like "1000 Years").
The only critical point on the very varied CD: in the length of time the album is despite its variety too long respectively the constellation of the songs is primary orientated to the first thirty minutes, so that the album seems to take down towards the end and is no longer able, to offer the in approaches existing ingenuity. (Online December 7, 2004)
Guest Reviewer Christian Wögerbauer