Release Date: 2001
Genre: Black Metal
1. Tara (01:57)
2. Pillars Of Mercy (04:22)
3. A Shield With An Iron Face (03:22)
4. Manannán (06:39)
5. The Cognate House Of Courtly Witches Lies West Of County Meath (04:19)
6. She Cries The Quiet Lake (04:11)
7. Yrp Lluyddawe (01:52)
8. From Ancient Times (Starless Skies Burn To Ash) (03:54)
9. Four Crossed Wands (Spell 181) (04:47)
10. Vorago (Spell 182) (05:46)
11. Bron (Of The Waves) (01:32)
12. Stone Of Destiny (…For Magh Slecht And Ard Righ) (07:47)
13. Tara (Recapitulation) (01:46)
Total Length: 52:13
Tara is a basic intro track focused on bagpipes. It’s based on melodies we’ve all heard before, so nothing really new to be found. It also kind of doesn’t really set the scene, because the bulk of the album itself doesn’t try to replicate this atmosphere. Pillars Of Mercy though has a cool little opening to it that sticks with you, and the riffs are crazy and fast. I don’t want to just assert that these guys are unique, but even though I’d been a fan of this style of music for a while, it still took plenty of time to get into the way this band does things. The way it all blends together is something I hadn’t heard before, and once it clicked it was great.
A Shield With An Iron Face is clearly one of the tracks with the guest King Diamond vocals, at least in the intro, and the vocals overall are one of the highlights of this track. The stereo field is used to great effects for the rhythm of the vocals, and there is a good use of synths to add a little more to the whole thing. Manannán has an unnecessarily long intro, but the bulk of the song has some great riffs and more cool vocal stuff going on. The Cognate House Of Courtly Witches Lies West Of County Meath isn’t as great as the previous tracks, but still very solid.
She Cries The Quiet Lake has some killer riffs but the style of the music starts to wear a bit by now. Yrp Lluyddawe is an ambient track to divide the two halves of the album. Nothing special. From Ancient Times (Starless Skies Burn To Ash) is kind of rejuvenated and has a bit more energy than the few previous tracks. Great start to the second half. Four Crossed Wands (Spell 181) has fantastic riffs to it too. When it finishes it rolls right into Vorago (Spell 182) which has a few odd points to it. It is one of the better tracks on the album.
Bron (Of The Waves) is a pretty little acoustic track, short and sweet. Stone Of Destiny (…For Magh Slecht And Ard Righ) features the great guest vocals, as well as some of the best riffs on the album. They saved the best for last, and just in time because I get tired of the album around this point. Tara (Recapitulation) is just another bagpipe track, not much to say. The album itself took me quite a few listens to get into. I don’t really ever ‘want’ to listen to it though. It’s not an album that I’d crave to hear, which is kind of damning in its own way I suppose. It does have some value, and did grow on me, but this one at least is not entirely for me.
Final Rating: 6.5/10