Conorach - Tales from the tavern 3.5/5

Reviewed: 7-24-09


1. 1667
2. The oaken shield
3. The hunt
4. Awaiting the end
5. Riders from the west - With fire and iron
6. Seasons of a warrior
7. The fortress at dawn
8. Stortebeker
9. Voice of despair
10. Spanish ladies

Here we have an independent full-length debut release 'Tales from the tavern', from Conorach out of Netherlands. The CD's base style is power metal, but there are many folk elements, and the CD also has a symphonic side. The band has incorporated some unusual instruments, including an accordian, violin, mouthharp and ukulele. These other instruments definitely provide a folky feel, and they also help keep the CD interesting and fairly unique. Especially considering this is an independent release, the production is quite good and I don't even have one complaint in that regard.

Vocally, Jacco de Wijs (who is also the accordian player) has a voice that's in the lower range, and he does a fine job. He fits the music, and his style is similar to the style of the vocalists from a few other power metal bands, namely Falconer (though he also reminds me of Blaze Bayley on occasion). Actually, Falconer is probably the best overall band comparison for Conorach, but there are also hints of bands like The Storyteller, Logar's Diary, Isengard, Falkirk, and maybe even Wuthering Heights.

What stands out the most with this debut is that it's a smooth CD. It flows very well, and the songs are sometimes carried by the vocals, sometimes carried by the guitars, sometimes carried by the keys (their symphonic side), and even sometimes carried by the folky instruments. The CD just seems to move along at a nice pace, offering up both mid-paced (sometimes bouncy or galloping) and fast-paced rhythms, with numerous interesting musical segments. All of the songs hover around the level of good to great, I really like the closer "Spanish ladies" (which is a slow acoustic-style song that's quite folky), and there isn't one song I'd label weak.

This is a short CD at just over 42 minutes, but in the end, we have a band that's promising and a debut that I'd recommend to fans of folky and slightly symphonic power metal, and especially Falconer, but probably the other aforementioned bands as well. So if this applies to you, check out this debut, as there's a good chance you'll enjoy it.




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