Album Review: Hand of Kalliach – Corryvreckan

Album Review: Hand of Kalliach - Corryvreckan
Reviewed by Rick Eaglestone

Edinburgh based couple Hand of Kalliach return with their enriching blend of Folklore and Mythology for follow up album Corryvreckan.

Easily one of the best parts of music is discovery and this was very much my experience back in 2021 when I discovered Hand of Kalliach debut Samhainn, since then the band have signed to the prestigious Prosthetic Records and I one cant wait to see what landscapes and soundscapes are explored on Corryvreckan as the synergy before anything is played is something that should be admired as Caillech, the ancient god of winter lives as the bottom of an enormous whirlpool Corryvreckan and when she rises to wash her cloak which once restored she casts it across the earth which lands as snow – this is done at the start of Samhainn.

Opening track Three Seas starts with some deep-rooted ethereal tones and sweeping atmosphere with Sophie’s vocals complimenting the building tempo wonderfully for the inevitable overspill of husband John’s death metal elements which continue into Fell Reigns which although heavy in nature manages to include some subtle folk elements.

Album Review: Hand of Kalliach - Corryvreckan

The overly maniacal Dioghaltas manages almost manages to resist the seduction of siren like choruses as to do the follow up Cirein-croin which has some splendid gallops in places and includes my favourite guitar work of the album with great album and by the time Deathless has finished. It has all but confirmed my highlight section of the album.

Moving into The Hubris of Prince Bhreacan is where I feel Corryvreckan really finds its stride, encapsulating every great element of the album and has an undeniable air of maturity from the bands debut album. This is complimented and elevated perfectly by Unbroken You Remain which at its core in incredibly robust but with the bonus of incorporating traditional elements.

I thought that The Cauldron would provide some level of instrumental serenity given its length, far from it, I do not know how so many elements can be poured in with that level of storytelling but Hand of Kalliach not only manage it but excel in it.

The album’s shortest track in followed by Of Twilight of the Pyre, coincidentally the longest. The melodies and unbridled calm open to a final flurry of emotional balance that is undeniably captivating there is a satisfying sense of finality as the clock counts down which does not make you hit repeat all immediately but rather a sense of reflection and appreciation for something so beautifully constructed.

Corryvreckan is an intoxicating blend of unmatched detail and ancient tales.

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