Talisk – Beyond

Album Review | Talisk Records | Review by Liam Wilkinson | Stars: 4/5

Beginning with its serene guitar/concertina/fiddle melody, one which urges the captivated listener to crank up the volume and fall willingly into a Celtic trance, the stunning Montreal – opening track of Talisk’s latest album Beyond – soon leaps into a compelling rhythmic gallop. It’s a wonderfully inviting and momentum-gathering gambol that leads us excitedly into the remaining tracks of the Scottish trio’s second LP; most notably “Serbian Dreams”, with its hypnotic arpeggios, the feverish and swelling “Farewell”, complete with swelling chorale, and almost symphonic title track. It’s little wonder that this intrepid threesome has been busy gathering awards and accolades since the release of Abyss back in 2016. This relatively new outfit have already bagged themselves a BBC Radio 2 Folk award as well as a couple of MG Alba Trad awards, and the praise from fans and reviewers continues to pour in. It’s all down to the nimble concertina of Mohsen Amini, Hayley Keenan’s soul stirring fiddle and the restless strings of Graeme Armstrong’s guitar and the sound that this amazingly small ensemble makes which somehow manages to expand and sprawl during the dramatic “Cabot Trail” and somewhat filmic “Liddesdale”. Traditional instrumental folk music doesn’t come more powerful nor more arresting than this.