This is a thematic series of songs that proceeds through the eight seasonal sabbats.  Deirdre Ni Chinneide provides the vocals over a mix of instruments and choral accompaniments. The texture doesn’t strictly adhere to traditional Irish-Celtic music, but includes synthesizer sounds, electric bass, wood flute, and other instrumental colors that add a unique dimension to the genre.

The song lyrics are a mix of Gaelic and English; these are provided (and translated) in the liner notes. The tracks begin with a Samhain song called “Forgotten.” This introductory narrative piece sets the mood for the rest of the album. The fourth track, “Pieta” is exceptionally powerful and moving; I wish there had been more songs like this one. It has a sense of demanding urgency and passion that heightens the music’s primitive tribal qualities. It makes you want to paint your face blue and put on a kilt! The two final tracks (either or both) would make a wonderful musical finale for a ritual.

The songs are:
Celtic Passage
Weep with Me
Cry to the Mountains
Arms of the Universe
Arise My Love
Lie You Still
Si Gaoithe (Spirit Breeze)
Siochain (Peace)

Deirdre’s voice is light and pretty. It is somewhat less compelling than Enya’s voice, but a bit more evocative than Maire Brennan’s voice. The music has a similar reliance on airy and evocative female vocal choral textures. The album has a strong resemblance to offerings by those artists, so if you like mystical Celtic music, don’t hesitate to acquire this CD.

It’s perfect for practitioners who lean toward Celtic branches of the Craft. The whole album would make a wonderful accompaniment for a ritual, but selected songs could be included in playlists for specific Sabbats. Recommended very specifically for its useful application in pagan ritual designs.

~review by Elizabeth Hazel

Artist: Deirdre Ni Chinneide
Sounds True 2007
53:12, CD $17.98