Ireland’s Cruachan have been hailed as one of the originators of folk metal, starting out way back in 1995 with their now almost legendary Tuatha Na Gael album, which had combined black metal with celtic folk. In the years to follow, the Irish went through several different style adjustments, all of them staying within the band’s context, mind you, going completely folk metal, then bringing back the black metal influences on their 2011 album Blood on the Black Robe, to now arrive at album number seven, titled Blood for the Blood God (second in their “Blood” trilogy).lood for the Blood God is the Irish’s most powerful offering to date and quite possible Cruachan’s strongest album in their already quite lengthy career. It is this organic feel and authentic package with the lyrics going hand in hand with the music, which sets the band apart from most of their peers and the conviction is palpable. Without a doubt one of the best folk metal albums of 2014 and it is good to see the band still going strong and pushing their envelope after all these years!
xhibiting a labyrinth of moods and meticulous tempo shifts, Blood For The Master is streamlined without ever rendering itself predictable. As memorable as it is menacing, the band's fifth full-length quite literally writhes under the weight of its own deviant heaviness. Led by the traditionally iconoclastic sermons of the leather-throated Falgoust, and made whole by its mammoth guitar tone, unconditional drum/bass battery and Duets intermittent snarls of wrath, the record again challenges god's legitimacy/authority while further exploring the ritual of death.
PentaTone's live recording of John Corigliano's The Ghosts of Versailles is billed as the world premiere recording, though it was preceded by the 1991 video recording of the Metropolitan Opera's production, which was conducted by James Levine and starred Teresa Stratas. Even so, this 2016 audiophile presentation of the LA Opera production, conducted by James Conlon, is a major event for opera lovers, especially since the Met's recording is difficult to find and performances of The Ghosts of Versailles are rare.