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Cnoc An Tursa: The Giants Of Auld

Album Review

Mighty, blackened hymns to the majesty of Alba

The words ‘symphonic folk black metal’ probably conjure up all kinds of terrible images of blokes waving swords in a forest while some guy on a keyboard widdles away like there’s no tomorrow and a vocalist shouts about heritage and lore. While Cnoc An Tursa do adhere to some of the basic elements of the above description, the Scots tend towards the more grown-up and intellectual side of the genre.

Their debut has been a long time coming and The Giants Of Auld doesn’t disappoint. The utter elation and triumph found in this collection of odes to their land is deeply moving and terrifically affecting – The Lion of Scotland is as beautifully coarse as it is engaging.

The traditional sounds of Cnoc An Tursa’s country weave their way around harsh vocal lines and delightfully melodic synth work, while driving drum beats push the album onwards to Hail Land Of My Fathers, a fantastically harmonious Ettrick Forest In November and the profoundly majestic Winter – A Dirge. Cnoc An Tursa have arrived, and it’s glorious.

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