|Celtic Pride - ‘Light Up The Sky’ (Self Released)|
|Written by Matt Phelps|
|Monday, 18 February 2013 03:45|
"Gok Rock" is what I like to call the large swathes of the pretentious twat bands and ten a penny "tribute" acts that litter the majority of event boards in slowly dying venues around the country. From big(ish) bands that are more concerned with their image (Black Veil Brides please stand up) to the parasitic cretins of Surreal Panther unimaginatively replicating someone elses just to make lazy money from a secondhand pantomime routine. I mean who the fuck pays to see a Steel Panther tribute??? Bands and "fans" like that should only be allowed to come into contact with metal if it comes via the barrels of a firing squad.
Celtic Pride on the other hand are the real deal. Proper fellas that look like fellas playing a mix of hard rock and metal inspired by some of the all time greats like Priest, Maiden and Sabbath. Starting out in the covers region of performing (big difference from "tribute act") they've honed their skills over the years, been through the line up changes, paid their dues and are still here to tell the tale. Previous album 'Warzone' found a champion in the form of Black Sabbath's Tony Iommi, surely a man qualified to know a killer riff when he hears one and this new ten track collection sees Iron Maiden's Adrian Smith stepping forward to gets his strings dirty with the South Wales five piece.
The new album, 'Light Up The Sky', is a solid, well rounded exhibition of old school mentality. With no meanderings or self indulgence 'Light Up The Sky' is the sound of five guys gelling as a unit and playing a style of music they love. No ulterior motives. So kicking off the show with the title track we get an instant thunderous rolling vibe resonating deep that could shake Geezer Butler's foundations. The Sabbathy groove wearing its colours of influence with obvious pride. 'Never Leave Me Alone' takes a turn down a more classic rock road. A turnpike to melody with Justin Matthews keeping a very tight ship vocally. 'Shine On The World' delivers a slower mellowing hand with an atmosphere comparable to Saxon's 'Frozen Rainbow'. As much as a ballad as you're gonna get from the Pride guys. 'Turn In My Grave' lurches back into a more straight ahead metal sound with some nice side by side riffing from brothers Don and Rob Williams á la Tipton/Golfing.
Former Shy and Asia man Bob Richards sits dutifully on the drum stool providing the covering fire of beats that strike like clockwork. With Bob having also occupied the same position in Adrian Smith's Untouchables the Iron Maiden six stringer turned out for his old mate and laid down some powerful sounds on the flat out rocker 'The Patriot'. With a cutting edge and speedy pace 'The Patriot' roars to the fore as possibly the album's finest track (though due to my obsessive love for all things Maiden my opinion may be a little biased on that one.)
'Bar Room Brawl' takes me back to heady teenage days* (*for days see nights). Listening to Johnny Crash, drinking too much Newcastle Brown, throwing up after Wolfsbane, sticky floors, broken glass, dark toilets...! The 'Bar Room...' vibe swaggers along low slung and grooved out with a little bit of 'Tejas' rooted deep in its heart. 'Gonna Get You' keeps more of that Southern flavour flowing smooth like a whiskey river before 'The Lost Warrior' turns the edge back towards more of a reflective pace. 'Voices In My Head' calls time on an album that's essentially as metal as a brass monkey's balls and every bit as heavy.
Celtic Pride rely on traditional firepower, no laser guided technology here. Just hard hitting battlefield assaults with old school riffs and armoured rhythm. At the end of the day they are the type of band that are the genuine lifeblood of the seemingly declining British music scene. These boys and bands like them that shy not away from original material with their never say die attitude continually put oxygen into the system so many lesser bands are trying to suffocate with their lack of imagination and drive. That's something I find totally commendable.
Celtic Pride are exactly the type of band I'm proud to say I like.