Celtic Legacy
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Celtic Legacy


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"Celtic Legacy - Resurrection (9,5/10) - Ireland - 2003"

The latest in the line of fine Irish acts to make me proud of my country’s potential for breeding Metal is the mighty CELTIC LEGACY. Having come through much band turmoil since their debut release a few years back CELTIC LEGACY have returned magnificently with the appropriately titled “Resurrection”. Believe me now when I say that this is possibly the most essential straight up Metal album that was released in 2003, it is that damn good.

Aside from SCAVENGER and HONEY FOR CHRIST Ireland has been sorely lacking for straight up Heavy Metal bands and while each of the two previously mentioned has their own style CELTIC LEGACY remain uniquely Irish and use that to fuel their music and raise it to new heights to rival anything from the bands I would consider as influential to the CELTIC LEGACY sound.

After the nice keyboard intro “The Fallen” CELTIC LEGACY unleash their blend of Metal with the excellent “Live By The Sword”. If you can imagine what you would get if you crossed IRON MAIDEN, MANOWAR and DREAM THEATER with THIN LIZZY and lots of Irish folk influences then you would be thinking of a very strange sound indeed. CELTIC LEGACY however have melded these influences into one vibrant and powerful sound which easily stands with the best of them. “Live By The Sword” contains good Heavy Metal riffing which could easily be found on anything from IRON MAIDEN to MEGADETH, as well as beautifully melodic vocals in the Power Metal vein. Other sections of the song are more melodic and perhaps more Irish and on top of that the song is catchy as hell and sets the standard for the rest of the album.

Perhaps the most impressive feat of this album as that the rest of it does rise to the challenge and each track is as excellent as the last with only a few minor gripes. Picking out standout tracks would be almost impossible. “Guardian Angel” is another good rocking tune, which makes good use of simple keyboard melodies, on top of this is very catchy with a great chorus. Next up is the epic title track “Resurrection”. Opening with acoustic guitars and understated keyboards it makes good use of the vocalist’s versatility as the Power Metal vocals has been cast aside in favour of a nicer more sedate style. Soon enough though the riffs some in and make great use of the MAIDEN inspired twin guitar attack. Overall this is definitely one of the more memorable tracks on the album which and is in the same vein of some of the better IRON MAIDEN epics and gives the best of them a run for their money. There is a great versatility in this track with excellent riffs and solos and leaves nothing more to ask for!

“Children Of The Sky” is the first of the songs that allows for any complaint. The complaint being the chorus is a little too “poppy” and happy sounding for me. This aside the rest of the song has great powerful riffs which could fit easily with IRON MAIDEN or the masters of Metal MANOWAR. There is that great epic feel to the riffs in the vein of those mastered by MANOWAR with “Hail To England” or even BATHORY on their “Hammerheart” masterpiece. Which this does contain however to make it stand alone is lots and lots of delightful Celtic sounding leads which could easily have been heard on any CRUACHAN album. CELTIC LEGACY however do it even better!

Possibly the best track on the album “Timeless” opens with a much more mellow sounding section with beautiful vocals. However it is not until the distortion kicks in and the simply breathtakingly powerful screams soar through your ears that you know there is something special and indeed “timeless” about this track. It has an amazingly catchy riff, one of the best and most passionate and powerful vocal sections ever laid down by an Irish band and a beautiful melodic solo. This track has the potential to break this band to a huge worldwide audience as it’s both radio friendly and lasting. Pure genius.

Following this is another of the more memorable tracks, the instrumental “Sloipephuch Doin”. Here lies a nicely paced early IRON MAIDEN styled instrumental only with better riffs and a fantastically Irish feel to the lead guitar which is layered over the traditional IRON MAIDEN rhythms. Also there are enough twists and turns and uses of the twin guitars to keep your attention for the full duration. Unfortunately as this stage of the album CELTIC LEGACY decide to throw in “Shine” which I think is the poorest track on the album. The song itself has good riffs and is a good tune, but it just doesn’t live up to the others. Of note however is the fact that this is a rerecorded song which was their first album, therefore this shows a marked improvement in the band’s song writing skills. For some reason it reminds me of DREAM THEATER only with an annoying chorus - I think it’s really just the too upbeat chorus that puts me off this song as I really can’t find any other fault.

“Always The Hero” is a very THIN LIZZY inspired rocker which makes excellent use of the twin guitars. Nicely paced and packed full of excellent riffs this is the surprise package of the album that I feel will be universally loved by everyone. The outro to this is beautifully crafted with its use of traditional Irish instruments to further add to the uniquely beautiful Irish atmosphere. The sharp, heavier, more Metal opening riff to “Emania - Shadows Of Moonlight” interrupts the harmony and jerks the listener back awake from the soothing sounds. This track clocks in at 8 and a half minutes making it the second longest on the album. Its beautiful vocal lines, diversity and great distortion to acoustic interchanges make is another great track, which to me again sounds quite DREAM THEATER inspired. The acoustic middle which is accompanied by some form of flute or pipes is very delicate and beautiful and the vocals fit perfectly, again, showing the great range of the vocalist. The album closer “When A Stranger Comes” is a beautiful power ballad and is a very fitting ending to the album. The later part of the song contains some really beautiful lead work and is a joy to listen to.

There isn’t anything else to say now except that with excellent tracks, amazing guitar work (the solos just shred!) and fantastic vocal ability, wonderfully produced and printed professionally there isn’t anything more you could expect, or indeed hope for, from the band. If they remain unsigned I will be extremely shocked. Simply wonderful, essential for all fans of THIN LIZZY and good melodic Metal in general. - The Metal Observer - Germany

"CELTIC LEGACY – “Resurrection” 2CD ’03 (Private, Ire)"

Wow. What an unexpected, unlikely & wonderful journey has led to the release of this lavish disc, which at this time is wedged permanently in my CD player.

CELTIC LEGACY is a metal band from Ireland. Their 1st CD from a couple years ago grabbed me hard. The melodies & power found there reminded me of vintage Riot & Purple. Sadly, due to the hideous, popular musical environment, the album didn’t take off & the band sorta came apart. Guitarist/main-man Dave Morrissey was not ready to quit, nor was bassist Dave Boylan. Still, as I learned from Dave M., while they had a wealth of material for a 2nd C.L. effort, bringing this to fruition was going to be a daunting, maybe impossible task. Not only was finding the musicians who were good & committed enough going to be a total bitch, so was locating a label to get behind the project. This music didn’t sound like Creed or some other sh*t, so why would a U.S. label care? It didn’t sound like Hammerfall or Blind Guardian, so why would a European label blink? Morrissey was a bit despondent over the prospects & yet somehow, an idea began to form. Taking a page out of prog-band Marillion’s book, CELTIC LEGACY presented their fans from the 1st album with the chance to finance the record themselves and…they did it!!!

Amazingly, the results are in and the oh-so appropriately-titled “Resurrection” is a finished product that, just in it’s professionalism, reduces most big time products to shreds. Just the booklet here is a virtual tour de force, including not only the full song lyrics & a detailed story about the album’s making, but also such cool features as a write-up from the mother of the late Phillip Lynott! And, speaking of Philo & Thin Lizzy, the music here is truly beyond awesome.

Picking up where CELTIC LEGACY’s debut left off, this one then totally eclipses it! With riffs that fire from the double guitars of Dave M. and Darren Maher, visions of Lizzy themselves spring up in the Celtic-inspired metal onslaught, as well as the aggression & melody of something like Riot’s “Innishmore.” Just listen to songs like “Live By The Sword” & “Children Of The Sky,” not to mention the wondrous “Shine.” In a world that was fair, this would get top-billing on rock radio around the globe, so catchy & powerful is it’s chorus alone. And then, be stricken by sheer epics in the forms of the 8 minute “Emania – Shadows Of Moonlight” and the 10 minute title cut. If that weren’t enough, feel the emotion cut through you as the strains of the beautiful ending ballad “When A Stranger Comes” slowly subside in your speakers. This is the summit of melodic metal, crowned by the commanding new vocal presence of Mark Guildea. All I can say, if nobody knew who this guy was, they will after listening to his spell-binding work on this CD…as will they by the Mark Reale-level guitar work of Morrissey & Maher.

CELTIC LEGACY are kings of their genre right now (and just about all music, in my opinion!) and this “Resurrection” indicates a long life ahead!!! NOTE: The initial pressing of “Resurrection” includes a blistering bonus disc composed of alternate versions, rare trax, demo recordings, etc. that all totally kick ass. What a Godly package!!! - Chaos Realm Dec 2003

"CELTIC LEGACY – “Resurrection” 2CD ’03 (Private, Ire)"

With a name like Celtic Legacy, you’d probably assume this band to be of the European power metal type heavily influenced, both in lyrics and music, by the myths and history of the Celts. What the band offers on their sophomore album Resurrection is instead a solid slab of melodic metal in the tradition of Iron Maiden, Dokken, and Def Leppard. There are occasional Celtic references, such as the wonderful instrumental “Slóidephuch Dóin” and in the lyrics of “Children Of The Sky” (the band’s rendition of The Children Of Lir, a saga from Irish mythology), but overall the disc is just good ol’ classic metal.

The riffs and leads of co-founder Dave Morrissey and guitarist Darren Maher are top-notch throughout the album. “Live By The Sword” serves as the opening showcase for their talents, as the crunchy riff is simple yet catchy and the solo is quite expressive. The title track is by far my favorite of the album, and clocking in at over 10 minutes it’s also the most epic. Right away the lads hit you with the addictive melody that carries through the tune. The anthemic, Irish-inspired riff is uplifting and haunting all at once. Vocalist Mark Guildea traverses his awesome range faultlessly, delivering an emotionally gripping performance which envelops you in the lyrics and heightens the mood created by Morrissey and Maher, whose twin-guitar harmonies are noteworthy and well-executed. Lyrically, “Resurrection” speaks of the reunification of Ireland - at least that’s my interpretation - which I suppose for me makes the song a little more emotionally weighty. Celtic Legacy have outdone themselves with this highly dramatic piece. Another favorite of mine is “Slóidephuch Dóin”, a guitar-driven instrumental track with distinct Irish flavor. This quick-paced little rocker will get your head to bangin’ and your foot to stompin’. “Shine” first appeared on Celtic Legacy’s debut album, but I am not familiar with that version so am unqualified to offer comparison. It is, however, a track where the bass of co-founder Dave Baylan comes to the fore and carries the song in tight synchronicity with drummer Stephen Cash. The choruses are excellent as well, hinting at the band’s significant AOR influences. The heavy, chugging riff of “Emania - Shadows Of The Moonlight” brings to mind the works of Deep Purple and Rainbow, while the flute interlude lends a traditional Irish ambience.

The story behind the making of Resurrection is just as intriguing as the music itself. In 2001, Celtic Legacy was over as a band because of the lack of support shown by metal fans in Ireland and abroad. A fan in Germany, however, took it upon himself to personally launch a fundraising campaign to finance the reformation of the band and the recording of a new album. Thanks to his tireless devotion, Celtic Legacy reformed and created this wonderfully produced gem of metal. Now that’s supporting the underground! - CELTIC LEGACY – Resurrection (Self-financed)

"CELTIC LEGACY – “Resurrection” 9/10"

What’s old is new again. In this age of subpar retro bands that seem to throw together any musicians they can find so they can release an equally subpar album, it is nice when you get to hear something like this that is actually good and professional. Ireland’s Celtic Legacy is not what I would call a retro band exactly, but their new album “Resurrection” has a sound that is definitely a throwback to the metal of old, without sounding dated at all.

Imagine if you will, a band that combined some elements of Iron Maiden, Manowar, and some other 80’s metal bands (Maybe a bit of Helloween), and you can kind of get an idea of what “Resurrection” sounds like. Not only does “Resurrection” sound a bit like those aforementioned bands, but it also borrows a lot from 70’s rock/metal icons Thin Lizzy. The band is such big fans of Thin Lizzy in fact, that Phil Lynott’s mother has a piece she wrote in the booklet stating that Celtic Legacy are donating part of the proceeds off the sale of “Resurrection” to a fund for a statue of Phil that will be put somewhere in Dublin. The combination of these two different styles really makes for something unique. It’s rare in metal today to hear guitar leads or solos, or hear a vocalist that can actually sing! Really, Celtic Legacy’s vocalist Mark Guileda is a damn fine vocalist. I’m sure if he was around singing during the early 80’s, all the girlies would have had his poster on their wall and would have cooed longingly while playing their Celtic Legacy vinyl’s because he has a voice that seems to sing to you personally somehow. It’s great, and powerful. The other standout musicians in Celtic Legacy are guitarists Dave Morrissey and Darren Maher. Both damn fine guitarists, they can both nail the power chords at Celtic Legacy’s heavier moments, and play some of the best solos and leads I’ve heard in years. All of this would be great by itself, but they also add a healthy dose of traditional folk music to the mix, and it becomes some of the most unique and catchy music out there right now. There are tin whistles and violin to be found on here as well, and they are very well played by guest musicians, as well as some acoustic guitars here and there.

The production of the album is great. Recorded in a small studio in Dublin, “Resurrection” sounds like it was recorded in a big studio with a big budget behind it. That just goes to show that a band can get a great sound out of their album without spending a million dollars on recording and production fees. The acoustic guitar sound is phenomenal on this album. It sounds like someone’s playing in my room when they are playing.

The packaging of this album is great. The booklet has not only the lyrics, but a lengthy biography of the band, as well as some stories of the trials and tribulations the band endured to get this album out. There is also some Celtic artwork adorning every page, and a pretty cool painting. There’s also some nice photo collages of the band at play and at various live events.
One thing I have to mention is how I admire the determination of this band, and some of its fans. Before “Resurrection” was released, the bands founder, Dave Morrissey, wasn’t sure if he could make a go of the album. He found some musicians, but had spent all of his money making previous albums. One German Celtic Legacy fan named Vladimir Hrubik took it upon himself to help out in any way he could. He had Dave send some CD’s of Celtic Legacy’s first album, and when those sold out, he ordered more, and more and so on. Aside from that, Vladimir persuaded enough people to pre-order “Resurrection” so that the band had enough money to go in and record it. Yep, he got fans to pre-order it before it was even recorded! Who says one man can’t make a difference? If it wasn’t for Vladimir, we may never have gotten to hear “Resurrection” at all, and that would have been a shame. So thanks, Vladimir Hrubik wherever you are! I can also tell the band is dedicated too, because with the promo of “Resurrection” they sent me some really professional promo info papers recalling the bands career and also giving some reviews from other webzines. Most bands stick a promo in the mail and call it good, adding this other stuff so a reviewer can see it is very applaudable and shows me that they care a great deal about their band. I’ve also heard that their persistence has paid off in that a record label has recently shown interest in signing them. I hope they do get signed, because they deserve to be.

In closing, I’d like to suggest that anyone that call themselves a metal fan go and pick up “Resurrection” as soon as possible. Whether you are a fan of 70’s hard rock, 80’s metal or are a fan of the current metal scene, you’ll find something worthwhile in the music found on “Resurrection”. Having a running time of over one hour is a big plus that a lot of potential buyers may like, too. One last thing... I’ve heard that the press and people in Celtic Legacy’s home country of Ireland haven’t yet come around to Celtic Legacy’s music so far. What are you guys waiting for? Get up of your ass and give them a chance! You won’t regret it! - Metal Coven Sept 2004

"Celtic Legacy - Celtic Legacy - Private Pressing - 1998 [CD]"

This is one of the few times when the name of a band describes its musical direction. Celtic Legacy come from Ireland and if I was to give a brief description for their music I would call it Folk Metal with strong Celtic influences. But there is more to it than that. One would expect them to sound like Skyclad but they are more into the Saxon and Cloven Hoof vein since the violin doesn't play such a significant part as in Skyclad and the vocals are very clean and high pitched. Most songs have a slightly epic approach while the beautiful poetic lyrics are all about nature and the great Irish heritage. The Thin Lizzy influences are everywhere, adding to the fantastic result. The album is full of melodies and changes, from storming metal to piano interludes, a variety of sounds that will excite the audience. I have to admit that Celtic Legacy's music made me mind-travel to those fantastic places pictured in the cd booklet.

Although the band comes from Ireland, it has a strong fan base in Germany and performs live from time to time. Despite many line-up changes, the band recorded the 'Resurrection' album in 2003 (soon to be reviewed) and is now ready for it's third release during 2006. - The Forgotten Scroll


Celtic Legacy - Celtic Legacy (1998)
Various - The Spirit Of The Black Rose - A Tribute To Philip Parris Lynott (2001)
Celtic Legacy - Resurrection (2003)
Celtic Legacy - Guardian Of Eternity (2007)



Celtic Legacy are enjoying their third and best incarnation since their initial formation in 1997. With 2 albums in the can and a third one currently in production the band are clawing their way back onto the gig circuit after a lengthy hiatus.

Celtic Legacy's 2003 album "Resurrection" garnered incredible critical acclaim and seemed set to propel the band on to greater things. The album has achieved cult status among Ireland's underground metal scene since its release. Further afield, subscribers to one U.S. webzine voted it the best album of 2003 and reviews from everywhere from Greece to Canada to Japan gave the album stellar write ups.

Unfortunately, the band fragmented less than a year after Resurrection's release and the momentum that had been built up vanished. Legacy had to virtually start over. However, songs were still being written by the two remaining founder members even without a full band to fall back on for recording.

Finally in January 2007, Celtic Legacy re-emerged onto the scene with a new line-up and began to make up for lost time. Rehearsing both the established songs along with the new, as yet unrecorded material, Legacy returned to live work and quickly banished the ghosts of the last line-up; the new band making its own identity known with a highly charged live set covering its 10-year career to date.

With the new album "Guardian Of Eternity" set for a late 2007 release, the band are well and truly back.