Giants of Auld is the debut album from Scottish metallers Cnoc an Tursa. Formed in Falkirk the group resurrect the old form of Scottish poetry but infuse it with intense riffs to give it a fresh feel. The Album begins with “the Piper O’ Dundee” an extended introduction to “The Lion of Scotland” which explodes out of the gate. What’s immediately apparent is the ferocity with which they play, evident in the pulsing drums and Alan Buchan’s vocals. “Bannockburn” is an aggressive number along with “Hail land of my Fathers”. “The Spellbound Knight” begins with something similar to the music in a medieval film but then changes to an impressive seven minute mini saga. “In Shadowland” is another high tempo aggressive song that links into “Winter- A Dirge”. “Winter- A Dirge” gets a special mention as it has an almost heroic sound to it incorporating keyboards, blaring guitars and frantic drums that would suit a telling of stories of old heroes and their deeds that strengthens their intent to resurrect the art of Scottish poetry -try and imagine a big film setpiece playing alongside it and you’ll understand what I mean. The penultimate song “Culloden Moor” is melodic in its approach which leads to the final track “Blar Na H-Eaglaise Brice” a beautiful instrumental piece that uses traditional instruments in this case the flute to create a haunting melody that stays in the memory and closes the album magnificently. There is a distinct sound and quality to this album in fact the whole album sounds like it was made by a more experienced group that have been making albums like this for years. The fact that this is Cnoc an Tursa’s debut is all the more impressive for that. Simply put this is one of the best albums I’ve heard in a long time and I would encourage anyone and everyone to try it for themselves.
Cnoc an Tursa are:
Alan Buchan (Vocals & Guitars), Rene McDonald Hill (Guitars & Keyboards), David Anderson (Bass), Bryan Hamilton (Drums)