Celtic Dance are a Portuguese band that was formed about twenty years ago by Laldaboath, Tzaboath and Conquerer. After the recording of the debut Ancient Battlecry, which came to life with assistance of a fourth member, Xeque-Mate, Laldaboath and Tzaboath decided to leave. Soon after, both of them formed Arkenstone, but that’s another story. Conquerer continued his activities with Celtic Dance, with inclusion of some breaks, and with a little help from some friends to record more material.
This review deals with the re-recording of the 1998-full length Ancient Battlecry, originally released via Sword Productions on cassette in a limited edition. Sword Productions, for your information, is a label run by Conqueror, by the way. It’s done by the original trio, with assistance of producer / engineer / master Melkor in the studio. The original intro has gone, and a new track, Dream Destroyer, makes the party complete.
Ancient Battlecry brings fast and rhythmic, nasty and furious Black Metal with a grim, somewhat Nordic-oriented sound. If I did not know the performers behind these tunes of utter darkness, I would have guessed they originated from Poland, Sweden or Norway (maybe Germany or Brazil), but actually they totally f*ck their southern-European prediction; something several Lusitanian hordes do (and which I cannot but adore / hail / appreciate). A surplus is the variety in tempo, with a focus on hyper-energetic assault, yet with the addition of low-speed interventions too, in several of the tracks. Another positive element is the fantastic sound. Okay, it has to do with the modern re-arrangement for sure, but even nowadays, in a digital age of aim-to-perfection (damn, do you need to puke too?), it is great to notice that there is no exaggeration (read: betrayal) to the core, the purest essence - and as you know it isn’t but nastiness… No, seriously, this edition comes with a fantastic sound.
The material on this album is not original at all. Not once I have the feeling that I do hear something renewing. But then again I’m thinking: why should it? I do not need something that re-invents the scene. As long as the result is, qualitatively, satisfying, I am pleased. With this album I am pleased. There’s almost nothing to not like. Personal preferences might differ, of course, and that’s what will influence my final opinion too for sure, but seen the productional sound, the song writing, the performance, the atmosphere, I cannot but be positive, or at least a little… Especially (yet not exclusively) the slower parts are beyond average (in a positive way), but in general this re-interpretation of older material might satisfy a certain public…