Oh my God, what is this? A question that many people will ask themselves. The answer is just as easy: BRILLIANT!
After their 1995 debut "Tuatha Na Gael" I already had dismissed CRUACHAN as split up and they in fact had split up, but fortunately they are back!
Only two parts of the former Folk Black Metal remain and those are Folk and Metal, the Black has been dumped into the Irish Sea completely. After an interesting bagpipe-instrumental, "Celtica (Voice Of The Morrigan)" showcases the strengths of the Irish quintet furiously: Supported by flute and bodhran CRUACHAN celebrate Folk Metal par excellence, borne by Karen Gilligans pleasant voice, which is far from the usual soprano-chirping, and medieval melodies, that it is a pleasure.
Also the other songs are dominated by the combination of Irish folklore, medieval flair and melodic Rock/Metal, mostly with Karen's vox, but here and there also supported by mastermind Keith Fay's voice, to complement it, just like in the racy "Óró Sé Do Bheata Abhaile".
But also the instrumentals "Cattle Raid Of Cooley (Táin Bó Cuailgne)" and "The Butterfly" are remarkable.
Surely the majority of reviewers will have their problems with this album, mainly because CRUACHAN simply are different, but I like it very much and everybody, who could imagine SKYCLAD in Irish, with a flute instead of the violin and with female vocals, should like CRUACHAN as well. Give yourself a push and CRUACHAN a chance!