Haul Ar Yr Eira

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Pererin are Welsh, almost defiantly so. Not only are all, bar one, of the songs on this 1980 album titled in Welsh, they're sung in Welsh as well. The set encloses a lyric sheet; it too is in Welsh. A pocket bio is provided in four rather perversely chosen languages -- German, one that can't be positively identified (perhaps Turkish), Gaelic, and, of course, Welsh. The Welsh have fought hard to keep their culture alive and their homes in Welsh hands, and to retrieve their fading language from oblivion, a battle that reached its heights in the late '70s, and to an extent continues to this day. All of which certainly explains the folk group's seemingly obstreperous anti-English stance, but it also curtails any discussion of their themes and lyrics. In any event, Pererin are not folkies in the traditional sense, even if they do adapt three traditional folk numbers for this set, and take inspiration for their own songs from Wales' rich musical heritage. Nor do they roam into the proggy pastures so beloved of many of their English counterparts. Instead, Pererin prefer a more sophisticated styling that leans toward the gentler side of rock, with their sound often enhanced with lush instrumentation, including flute and organ. But among these many lovely, acoustic guitar-laced pieces, there are also stirring numbers like "Dechrau y Gan" and "Hiraeth y Mor." Every one of the songs features strong vocals, provided by one of the group's two lead singers, while several tracks are further enhanced by guest vocalist Nest Llewelyn, whose ethereal harmonies haunt the disc. Not your typical folk or world fare, and the intervening years have done little to quench the set's musical power.

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