Thursday, 31 May 2012

LINK: Great Troy Donockley review

Gonzo 2011
Celtic pied piper calls his tunes and leads us to reason and realms of heavenly beauty.
His discography credits abound, Troy Donockley's most merited stripes are for making Uilleann pipes a rock instrument. In Donockley's hands, its melodious drones run from English folk avatar Maddy Prior through Roy Harper and STATUS QUO to Finnish metallers NIGHTWISH, but in between the many sessions the master cut three highly rated solo albums the best moments of which are gathered here. Their span is fantastic in both scope and delivery. If a new, previously unreleased cut "For Him Who Will Never Return" sees his weapons, two sets of pipes actually, sing a heartbreaking traditional dirge largely on their own, "Finlandia", a string quartet-elevated Sibelius piece from 1998 debut "The Unseen Stream", shows Troy's deft skills as arranger. Yet the genuine depth is revealed in Joanne Hogg-led choral of "Fragment", as well as in another freshly sculpted swell, "Dunmail Rising", where the solemn vocalise paves the road for the electronically shimmering dance of pipes and fiddle.
All of the strains combine in immaculate way for "Orkahaugr" off 2009's "The Madness of Crowds" in which Troy weaves a lace with his acoustic guitars and strikes it with whistles before the epic unfurls all its cinematic vistas and welcomes heavy guitar riffs into its ever-expanding fold. And while the trance-like folksy moment jitters in the light of "Tunnels", it's in the title track of 2003's "The Pursuit of Illusion" that Donockley's soft voice joins Hogg's crystalline flight to soar on a transparent orchestral cloud to celestial heights and bring the paradise closer to the crowds.

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