Artist:  Cnoc An Tursa
   Title: The Giants Of Auld
   Label: Candlelight Records 

From the mists of bonny Scotland we have Cnoc An Tursa, a metal band forged with Folk and Melodic influences, their debut album 'The Giants of Auld' is instantly likeable.  The album is pretty much full of old Scottish poetry quotes by Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott and John Stuart as well as Scottish folklore. There's a trip back to the past in tales that may have been forgotten in time, but are resurrected with Metal and passion by this band from a small town in Scotland Falkirk whose Borough motto is ... "Better Meddle wi' the De'il than the Bairns Oí Falkirk".  

The album opens with a gentle instrumental, then track two 'The Lion of Scotland' rattles its cage as the deep, heavy growls erupt and you are then taken into the murderous battle field of 'Bannockburn', the battle of 1314 and independence from England.   'Hail Land of My Fathers' has Alan Buchan and indeed the whole band telling you to listen and listen as the stories are told.  This is a bruising song to march into battle against the hordes and slay them with their musical mastery.

'Ettrick Forest in November' is intense, with keyboards intertwined, machine gun drumming and battle vocals of hellish proportions. Through the Scots mist 'The Spellbound Night' slowly builds and is the longest track and without doubt a tremendous, tune of epic proportions.  'The Spellbound Night', I love the intro to this one, as the drums come in with spell binding keyboards, and the vocals are brutal yet melodic as they are throughout the nine tracks here. 

'The Shadowland' smacks you in the forehead with a stone hammer.  'Culloden Moor', I would say is one of the strongest tracks on here and is a tune I would recommend to someone who hasnít heard of Cnoc an Tursa.  It has everything in it to appeal to fans of folk metal, but dragged through the maelstrom of Black Metal and melodic tune age to make one earth shaking song in a word superb!    

The final 'Blar na h-Eaglaise Brice' is an instrumental, it has an eerie atmosphere to finish an excellent debut from these Scottish warriors.  So to summarize, with 'Giants of The Auld' you have Pagan, Folk and Black Metal thrown together.  It bruises and slashes away at you like a Claymore hitting flesh.  Some of the song titles are taken from poems 'Winter A Dirge' and 'Bannockburn' written by Robert Burns, 'Ettrick Forest in November' written by Sir Walter Scott and 'Hail Land of my Fathers' was written by John Stuart Blackie and really cements the enormous pride these rockers have in their heritage.

The band have cleverly mixed some of their own lyrics and intertwined them with the poems of their forefathers and come up with this inventive, intelligent album.

Review by: Seb Di Gatto

Tracklisting:

1. The Piper O' Dundee
2. The Lion Of Scotland
3. Bannockburn
4. Hail Land My Fathers
5. Ettrick Forest In November
6. The Spellbound Night
7. The Shadowland
8. Winter-A Dirge
9. Culloden Moor
10. Blar na h- Faglaise Brice

                   

 

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