Monday, October 11, 2010

Celtic Rocks by Fathom

All too often, whenever I’ve come across an album reputed to be “Celtic Rock”—I’m turned off by a sea of synthesizers & quasi-Enya like tones. So, to be honest, despite the charm of lead singer John DiBartolo—and the fact that I really enjoyed his work with The Lonely Mountain Band—Beyond the Western Seas (see our forthcoming review)—I had my doubts. Until I listened to this album. And listened…and listened...and listened again.

I’m happy to report, the nightmarish scenario of synthesized beats of “Danny Boy” sung in GlamRock fashion have been wiped from my mind.

I have only one caveat. This album is highly addictive. Once you listen, you’ll find yourself humming the tunes all flipping day.

Celtic Rocks isn’t merely a few Celtic tunes played at high speeds on guitar either. While there are great renditions of “Whiskey in the Jar” and “Wild Rover”—two of my favorites, Fathom is taking a unique approach to the music. If I had anything to compare them to—it would have to be Black Sabbath—and specifically Sabbath from “Sign of the Southern Cross” (Dio on vocals for Mob Rules)and a bit of Tyr). Of all the bands that I’ve listened to over the years, Sabbath has a distinctive balance which allowed each element of the music to have equal importance. The drums and bass weren’t of lesser importance than the vocals and lead guitar. In my experience, this is a rare ability—and I find it here in this album. There’s a brilliant powerful symmetry here—and anything that so masterfully blends bass guitar with a mandolin and Uilleann Pipes is amazing.

Fathom’s work is exceptional and highly recommended. Check out this album & Fathom's other work at

-- Jessica Burke

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