Neithan : Bran Barr are veterans in the scene: way before almost every band had a horn, violin, a flute or some other pagan instrument, this band was already active. Nevertheless this 'Sidh'is only the band's second album since their debut 'Les Chroniques de Naerg' from 2000. One might expect that it ain't much if there is such a gap in between the first and second album, especially in a time when each label has its own pagan band(s), yet that is misleading: Bran Barr certainly has something to offer. Apart from that, this 'Sidh' was already ready for release in 2007 Due to label issues (like financial difficulties at Det Germanske Folket) it has all been delayed for three years.
The album is advertised as celtic war metal and for what such a banner is worth, it is kind of honest. Remarkable is that the band has a violin player in the line-up and no flute player, even if the flute is very dominant on this album unlike the violin… A bit too dominant, if you ask me. Musically it is somewhere in between the Teutonic fury of bands like Gernotshagen, XIV Dark Centuries with a Celtic touch like Eluveitie (just don't expect bagpipes). Nicely straight in between black and pagan, yet with a slight happy touch, and the music varies in between epic and furious like Asterix and Obelix and their villagers redecorating a Roman armycamp for the sake of fun (all hail Toutatis). So far, so good, so what? Well, not exactly: point is that it all sounds fine at the first hearing, but it lacks some more depth. It now all sounds so familiar that something of their own is difficult to find. Such a thing will not help to stand out among the hordes. Pity, but for that reason it is good Trollzorn sent us their promo, so that at least this release gets some decent exposure. I think that exposure will be very important for this band when it comes down to selling this album.
The production is quite normal and as such fits fine into the Trollzorn tradition. The songs are well done and so we have once more a "good album, yet no sensation” release. Lovers of a mix in between the Teutonic violence and the more merry tunes should most certainly check this Bran Barr out!