Release date: March 15, 2016
Running time: 45:06, 10 tracks
Hakka muggies –
1 – Shetland; seasoned cod liver and oatmeal boiled in the stomach (muggie) of a fish.
2 – an innovative folk metal band from the Czech Republic established in 2002.
Hakka Muggies should be familiar to some of you. They have been blending folk music from Ireland, Scotland and Brittany with punk and metal influences and they were featured in our Czech sampler in 2012 . After their excellent album “Feed the Fairies”, Hakka Muggies released an EP, and “MDCCXLVI (1746)” is their brand new studio album. And I daresay it’s their most ambitious project to date, a concept album that takes place during the last Jacobite rebellion (“the Forty-five”) which was defeated at the Battle of Culloden in 1746.
The first track is titled “Ro-ràdh”. It’s an intro featuring “Ye Jacobites by Name”. Hamish wants to join the Jacobite movement. Maggie, his love, doesn’t want him to go to war. Angus remains at home in order to court Maggie. Malcolm is an Englishman whose girlfriend has recently died, so he decides to join the British troops. Great balance between the flute and the metal guitars.
“Hamish” is the next number. The first part is reminiscent of Wolfstone, maybe more metal infused, with kick-ass fiddle. The last part moves to the Celtas Cortos territory, because of the flute. Hamish wants to fight, and Maggie wants him to remain at home, but Angus pushes Hamish to join the Jacobite ranks. One of my favorite numbers on the CD.
On “Maggie”, Hamish and Maggie discuss about the situation and finally Maggie is sad because she was not able to keep Hamish by her side. The song features a badass guitar led rendition of “Star of Munster”.
Tracks no. 4 is called “Troll”, Hamish meets a troll and tells him that he won’t kill him if he tells him three reasons. The trolls tells Hamish that he’ll meet Maggie again only if he leaves him alone. Interesting fiddle intro on this bridge number.
“Malcolm” is another standout song featuring fiddle and whistle, maybe more British folk rock than folk metal. Malcolm’s girlfriend has died and he decides to join the British Army. He meets the press-gang on the next song, “British Army”, a song based on “Join the British Army” featuring fiddle, whistle, accordion, kick-ass percussion and metal guitars.
The following song is called “Angus”. Angus wants Maggie to marry him, but she is waiting for Hamish. A folky beginning with fiddle and whistle and some jazzy arrangements before shifting to the metal end.
“Bitva” means battle. The Jacobites are butchered and Hamish decides not to kill Malcolm. Then, the British soldiers bring him to jail. Punk goes metal.
Track no. 9 is titled “Vězení (Prison)”. Both Malcolm and Hamish are sad. They discuss and Malcolm tells Hamish to swap clothes and to meet his beloved Maggie. Fiddle, guitar and rhythm section fit perfectly well.
The album is over with “Bheir mí ó”, a number featuring a passage of “Johnnie Cope”. Fantastic whistle with a folky feel. Hamish comes back to his village and Angus and Maggie are leaving the church where they have got married. Moreover, Maggie is pregnant. No happy end as you can imagine.
“MDCCXLVI” is housed in a gatefold sleeve with a 24 page booklet. The album was recorded between 2014 and 2016 at Stereo Mysterio studio by Jirka “Gappeq” Tomášek, mixed by Dan Šatra and mastered by Kakaxa, 3 bees. The album artwork (cover and drawings for every song) was made by Eva Stříbrská. The line-up that recorded the album: Markéta Janatová (Maggie, fiddle, low whistle), Martin Pobuda (Hamish, bodhrán, tambourine), Albrecht K. Smuten (Troll, Malcolm), Erik Onoda (Angus, guitar), Petr Jejkal (bass, Sergenat) Jiří Skála (drums, accordion, vocals) and Martin Vítězník (vocals).
Hats-off to Hakka Muggies for this brilliant project. An interesting album for folk-rock/folk-metal fans.
01 – Ro-ràdh 2:26
02 – Hamish 3:57
03 – Maggie 4:15
04 – Troll 4:29
05 – Malcolm 3:20
06 – British Army 5:25
07 – Angus 5:30
08 – Bitva 6:24
09 – Vezení 3:48
10 – Bheir mí ó 5:15
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Review by Kinksmarkham