Hibernia: The Story of Ireland [Paras]

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Searching musically for Ireland's roots, songwriter and musical visionary Reg Keating fashions a unique new age outing steeped in the realm where myth and reality cross in murky shadows. The title promises a Celtic-themed journey and there are definitely elements here that will appeal to fans of the genre -- native language performances by the Enya-like ethereal voices of Sharon Murphy and Karen Tracey, a festive jig-type flavor on "Winds of Change," and a whimsical flute and haunting tribal voices winding through the ambient contours of "Tuath de Danaan." Despite these threads, however, and some unique scene-setting track descriptions (which read like a largely mythologized history), this recording is more geared toward the fan of cool, soulful ambient music in general than hardcore Irish music fans. "The 9th Wave" has a hypnotic industrial groove with haunting synth sounds and a moody vibe. "Tri na nOg" is all synth wash ambience and distant synth patterns leading into a gently throbbing trance. "Genesis Hibernia" is a lush new age solo piano tune surrounded by a thunderstorm soundscape. Overall, the story is slightly more interesting than the music.

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