I am Irish, along with quite a bit of other stuff, so I thought I would take the opportunity today to play some Irish metal bands. Here is what is in store:
Cruachan is a folk metal band with a heavy emphasis on the folk elements. They use a variety of traditional instruments such as tin whistles, banjos, pipes, and a violin. The result is an album that sounds a lot like a traditional Celtic folk album. The metal elements are impressive when they are there, but they are not present as often. The vocals are handled by a female lead and a male backing vocalist. The male does some rougher yells along with clean vocals while the female simply sings cleanly.
GAMA BOMB: TALES FROM THE GRAVE IN SPACE
Gama Bomb is a part of the retro thrash metal wave. They happen to be from Ireland, but do not play anything that sounds uniquely Irish. They are more from the Anthrax/Overkill East Coast style of thrash metal. It's fast and it's a lot of fun. Gama Bomb deliver a lot of humor in their lyrics, as can probably be deduced from the album's title. They are one of the better bands in the retro thrash scene.
MOURNING BELOVETH: A DISEASE FOR THE AGES
Death/doom metal merchants Mourning Beloveth certainly know how to put together a morose and depressing album. Holy shit is this thing oppressive. It's five tracks and damn near an hour's worth of music. The music crawls at an exhaustingly slow pace. Gama Bomb above is a lot of fun, it's pretty clear that Mourning Beloveth are on the complete opposite end of that spectrum.
PRIMORDIAL: TO THE NAMELESS DEAD
I will also be listening to A Journey's End, but discussing the above-listed album more because it is absolutely amazing. It's one of my favorite albums from 2007. Primordial plays folk metal mixed with some black metal elements. The band actually started out as a black metal band but slowly diminished much of those elements in favor of a melodic and hauntingly powerful overall sound. The lyrical themes mostly involve historical topics, making this a truly Irish metal album.
WAYLANDER: HONOUR AMONGST CHAOS
Finally, we have Waylander, another Celtic/folk metal band, but unlike Cruachan, Waylander has much more metal influences and in fact, Waylander is far closer to a black metal band than any of the above bands. Waylander's album is one of the bright spots in folk metal. Yes, there are lots of folk instruments and melodies, but this is also very clearly a metal album.
HONORABLE MENTIONS: Several other bands have played Irish-sounding metal but are not actually from Ireland. They deserve a mention.
THE LORD WEIRD SLOUGH FEG