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Alan Averill

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● The recording stresses
● The real story of 'Storm Before Calm'
● "I wont play computer games with fans"

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Laochra | ‘Home And Heart’

It’s a solo project from Stiofán de Roiste from Celtachor – which should immediately tell you what you’re going to get.

Lashings and lashings of Celtic myth, legend and balladry done in classic sweeping Pagan metal style.

It’s significantly different from his main band’s work however, in that it’s characterized for the most part by clean sung vocal and lots of keyboard tinkling. I say for the most part, given that there’s a fair amount of his powerful screech in there as well. But the clean bits feel like the mainstay.

Instead of labouring on the descriptions and moods, I’ll just cut right to the chase here and say it’s not the best effort in this sugenre, for a variety of reasons.

Regrettably, Stiofán is pretty regularly out of tune on the clean bellows, to the extent that it really hampers listening. His voice frequently wavers both when trying to find the note and then when trying to hold it.

Also there’s a sort of cloying earnestness about both the content and the delivery that I just find a bit off putting – or just a bit passé.

I don’t doubt for an instant the sincerity with which our man wants to recount these stories of old, but it all just seems a little quaint when done quite like this. Yes, it’s a subgenre, and this mould is very well established. But it’s an old one, and to be frank, sounds like what many European acts (Legenda, Summoning, Benighted Leams, Stille Volk) were doing a very long time ago. And not in the best way, I fear.

There are decent moments of course. It just lacks the superior charge and metallic bite that Celtachor so ably demonstrated on their (fantastic) last album.

I dont mean to do down the effort, but this stuff just isn’t for me anymore; more than that though, it just isnt executed very well, despite all good intentions.

1.6 / 5 – Earl Grey ::: 18/05/17

  1. Thanks for taking the time to review it Ciaran! Appreciate it nonetheless.

  2. KEEGO))) Says:

    I really enjoyed this listening to it in the woods on headphones. It has a cool old-school vibe to it and think the vocals are great. Love the artwork and logo

  3. Sedgebeast Says:

    I actually think the slightly ramshackle execution adds to the charm here. So much recorded stuff these days – particularly in this genre – has been digitally lazer-honed to sterile perfection it’s actually quite refreshing to hear something ambitious delivered with more than a whiff of lo-fi earnestness. Wobbly, yes, but endearing nonetheless.

  4. Totally agree with the Sedgebeast’s comments. I think the review itself harshly overlooks this, but he isint completely wrong either. Both valid opinions.

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