|Genre||Celtic Folk Metal|
|Release Date||19 February 2019|
|Record Label||Heavy Metal Rock|
The first time I heard Tuatha de Danann a few years ago, they instantly carved their way into my favourite folk metal bands, and their 2004 album Trova di Danu remains to this day as one of my favourite folk albums. They’re nothing short of exceptional and it’s really too bad that they haven’t released albums regularly; after Trova di Danu, their next album wasn’t released until eleven years later, and they have yet to put out another full-length album. It’s understandable, though, what with a constantly-changing lineup and founding member Bruno Maia leaving for three years until 2013.
The Tribes of Witching Souls is Tuatha de Danann’s second EP since their last album. Not much really bothers me about the record and it mostly does justice to the band and their capabilities. The songwriting is dynamic and colourful, and the feel is, as usual, very bright and uplifting, except for ‘Your Wall Shall Fall’, which is considerably heavier and rougher than the rest of the record.
Both the traditional and modern instrumentals are vivid, vibrant and extremely well done. Well, for the most part, anyway. The only issue that I have with the instruments (or rather, ‘instrument’) is with the intonation in ‘Tan Pinga Ra Tan’, where the whistle sounds close to a quarter tone sharp. This may seem to be a minor issue, but it was enough to distract the shit out of me whenever it surfaced (and I don’t have perfect pitch or anything like that, I’m just a regular dude). Other than this, however, both ‘Tan Pinga Ra Tan’ and the album simply burst with life and the many different parts add a ton of depth to the music. The keyboards aren’t overdone but add a nice touch when they do emerge, as in the backing parts in ‘Conjura’.
Fitting with most of their other releases, the balance of folk/metal leans quite a bit to the folk side. That being said, there’s definitely enough metal on the album to keep if from being a straight folk album, and the metal sections are pretty fucking great. The guitar solo in ‘Turn’ is fantastic, and the aforementioned ‘Conjura’ is pleasantly heavy without upsetting the feel of the EP. My favourite song on the record is easily ‘Warrior Queen’, which demonstrates the perfect balance between traditional instruments and metal components. Daisa Munhoz’s vocal performance in this track is also the best on the entire album and is what ultimately pushes it into the spot of my favourite.
While I did find myself expecting a little bit more from this album, it’s still an excellent folk metal record. At the end of it all, I’m just happy to hear something new from these guys. I hope things are more stable in the future for Tuatha de Danann, because they are really capable of greatness within the genre.
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