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Celtic Pride: Light Up The Sky

Celtic Pride may well go down as one of the longest standing, hardest working bands you've never heard of - unless you're from Wales that is! Starting out as a covers act the band have morphed their way through a host of line-up changes, settling on a quintet featuring ex-members of Shy, Adrian Smith's Untouchables, Asia, No Quarter and Sasquatch. Admittedly drummer Bob Richards accounts for the first three of those acts on his own, but with support slots with the likes of Status Quo, Budgie and Girlschool, and Tony Iommi championing an early track from the band's debut effort on his Planet Rock radio show, you know that Celtic Pride are no slouches.

The band name may well conjure up images of traditional instrumentation such as mandolins, flutes and pipes. However the CP order of the day is a big ballsy bluesy bombshell that explodes with a strong hint of Classic Rock and US Arena Rock before the hair took over. Opener "Light Up The Sky" is a great introduction to this second slab of Celtic Pride of the same name, with a killer staccato riff wheedling its way into your brain. A place it will take up residence for weeks to come. Neither is it a one hit wonder with "The Patriot" surging into view on the back of a sizable groove which Iron Maiden's Adrian Smith guests to contribute to, while singer Justin Matthews (No Quarter) stamps his authoritative Kevin Dubrow meets Tom Keifer tonsils all over the song. "Turn My Grave" keeps up the good start, the twin guitar work of Don and Rob Williams spitting with intent, while bassist Dominic Hill (Sasquatch) and drummer Richards nail the groove to the floor. Not everything comes of quite as well though, with "Shine On The World" thumping along without any real idea of where it's heading and the slower "Bar Room Brawl" struggling to make an impact until Richards hammers up the beat John Bonham style - something he does to even greater effect in the Zep infused "Gonna Get You".

If there's a problem for Celtic Pride, then it is that in this world of instant gratification, Light Up The Sky takes its time to ease its way into your mind, rather than being an instant quick, throwaway fix. However that very issue is also this album's greatest strength as familiarity reveals an album with a great sense of depth and maturity that will keep you coming back for more.

Track Listing
1. Light Up The Sky
2. Never Leave Me Alone
3. Shine On The World
4. Bar Room Brawl
5. Don't Cry
6. Gonna Get You
7. The Lost Warrior
8. The Patriot
9. Turn In My Grave
10. Voices In My Head

Added: February 22nd 2013
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Celtic Pride on Soundcloud
Hits: 1992
Language: english

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