Celtic Collection Review: Team Effort

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is one of my favorite games of all time, so when I saw the announcement trailer for Celtic Collection: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, I knew I had to get an early listen. Thankfully, Sean Schafianski, one of the album’s producers, offered me a review copy so that I could fully immerse myself in this album before providing my thoughts. After five or six listens, I’m still collecting my thoughts, but I feel confident in calling this album an intriguing escape from reality.
From the moment that “Let Us Play” starts, you embark to a world of mystery, fantasy, danger, and despair. Producers Sean Schafianski and Ashlee Busch stick closely to the original arrangements and instrumentation, but I should call attention to the wonderfully blended virtual instruments which are nestled quite nicely with the live performances. This is a folk album paying tribute to folk songs, so there aren’t too many surprises, but each track manages to stand on its own without blending together. Nevertheless, the highlight of Celtic Collection is Ashlee Busch.
Ashlee’s voice is the guiding light of the album, drawing the listener in and bewitching them. While “Kaer Morhen” and “Game of Gwent” serve as delightful instrumental interludes, the real magic happens in moments like the beautiful duet during “Wolven Storm” or the haunting final moments of “Lullaby of Woe”. Of course, I can’t mention Ashlee’s voice without mentioning the excellent production by Sean. The mix is perfect with each instrument in its rightful place, and the mastering allows Ashlee to shine. Celtic Collection is a team effort, and Sean and Ashlee make a wonderful team.
Listen to the album on Spotify