Tag Archives: metal


Partholónreleasing debut single Hunt

What you may need to know…

01. Leeside progressive/sludge-metal five piece Partholón are named for a semi-fictional character of Irish history and mythos, said to have won the first battle on Irish soil and created a peaceful settlement thereafter, before slaying his wife and her lover after tasting him on his lips. The settlement succumbed to plague a week after this violence. “No God, just life, and then, Death”, as the band says in its bio.

02. While the band’s own story is nowhere near as lofty, they emerged from among the wreckage of local bands, notably the late Five Will Die. Live excursions have been few, numbering among them appearances at the Siege of Limerick festival and several shows in Cork, but expect this to change.

03. Streaming above is debut single Hunt, a heavyweight slab of post-metal weighing in at over the ten-minute mark. Grab a tay.

04. It’s taken from their upcoming E.P., Follow Me Through Body, recorded by Shaun Cadogan at Last Light Recordings in Dublin, and mastered by Marcus Lindberg of Cult of Luna. Physical copies and such are impending.

VERDICT: Maintaining the glacial pace and heft of projects past, and marrying it to atmosphere and dynamics, Partholón have put together something exceptionally promising.



Beithíochreleasing a new full-length

What you may need to know…

01. A one-man project from the north-west, Beithíoch (“the beast”) plies an atmospheric take on black metal with doomy undertones, and pauses for breath of eerie ambience.

02. Emerging in 2008 with debut full length Aisling Dhorcha, Beithíoch’s explorations have moved further and further into heavier territory, while retaining a pensive air.

03. Streaming above is most recent album Ghosts of a World Long Forgotten, released last week digitally and on CD via Irish metal label HI ARC TOW.

04. In lieu of live activity anytime soon, Beithíoch’s discography to date is available in a digital bundle at the project’s Bandcamp, with certain albums available for free at the label’s website.

VERDICT: A focused, fleshed-out work that balances aggression, heft and atmosphere.



Ilenkusnew single from post-metal Galwegians

What you may need to know…

01. Previous column featurees Ilenkus return with their first new material in nearly two years.

02. Emerging in 2011, the band combines heavy-duty riffage with atmosphere and technical proficiency, as best displayed on their 2014 sophomore effort The Crossing.

03. Streaming above is new single Hunny Bunny, which premiered last week on MetalSucks before going on general release via Bandcamp.

04. It’s taken from the band’s upcoming Hunger 7″ E.P., for released later this autumn, pending the current crush on vinyl production.

Verdict: Hunny Bunny takes the band’s dynamic and turns it on its head, as long-form compositions give way to more focused aggression.



zhOraheading to Wacken, helping launch new metal night in Cork

What you may need to know…

01. Sludgy, progressive metal emerges from the Premier County in the form of beardy four-piece zhOra.

02. Formed in 2011, the band quickly set about getting on metal bills around the country, currying favourable comparison with the likes of Mastodon in reviews. 2012’s EP Feet Nailed to the Ground was a glimpse at some promising heft.

03. Streaming above in its entirety is the band’s last release, 2013’s Almaz. Mastered by the standard-bearer of stupidly heavy tones, James Plotkin (Khanate, OLD). 2014’s live set at the Siege of Limerick was also committed to ones and zeroes, and is available for free download here.

04. The boys recently won the annual W:O:A Metal Battle, pipping several other Irish metal outfits to a slot at the world’s biggest metal festival, Wacken Open Air. As a warm-up, the lads are taking to Cork’s UrbanJungle on July 9th, headlining the debut edition of Welcome to the Jungle, a new monthly metal night.

Verdict:  A well-deserved step onto a bigger stage for the Tipperary heftmongers. Here’s hoping it leads to further new material in due course.



Ilenkusplaying Knockanstockan fest

What you may need to know…

01. Galway hardcore/post-metal outfit Ilenkus have blazed a trail around Ireland’s metal scene over the past few years.

02. Second album The Crossing, released in September 2014, came in for adoration from national and international genre press, with no less than Terrorizer mag describing the five-piece’s live show as “truly captivating”.

03. Streaming above is the video for Over the Fire, Under the Smoke, which eagle-eyed observers will remember briefly went viral. Filmed all in one shot, it sees vocalist Chris Brennan shred his vocal chords on the streets of the band’s hometown.

04. The band emerges from hibernation with an appearance at Knockanstockan fest, July 22nd-24th. Here’s hoping it’s an airing of new material.

Verdict: An innovative and focused force in Irish metal, if not in the overall Irish independent music sphere, and a must-see live proposition.



Unconquered Darkness Fest
April 30th-May 2nd, The Voodoo Lounge, Dublin

What you may need to know…

01. A co-promotion of Irish metal staple Invictus Productions and Colorado-based label Dark Descent Records, Unconquered Darkness Fest is a death-metal/black-metal weekender happening in Dubland’s Voodoo Lounge from April 30 to May 2.

02. Headlining are American death-metal veterans Morpheus Descends, Canada’s Adversarial, and Belgian blackened death-metallers Possession. Lining the undercard is a mix of Irish and international bands, including Invictus and Dark Descent signees.

03.  Heading up the complement of Irish artists are sonic anti-matter manipulators ZOM and Dublin five-piece Vircolac. Also on the bill are Maveth, Lantern and new Invictus signees Malokarpatan.

04. Dark Descent will have a stand on hand with merch and label wares. Tickets are available from Invictus’ webshop, and advance tickets allow for free-in to the Friday night preshow, making it three nights of heaviosity from around the world for fifty beans.

Verdict: The line-out is shaping up to be a seriously weighty weekend, looking well worth the price of admission for genre devotees. *horn sign*

Unconquered Darkness


RoadBurren Fleadh @ The Roadside Tavern, Lisdoonvarna, Co. Clare. April 30.

What you may need to know…

01. From a town famed for matchmaking festivals and so forth, springs up RoadBurren Fleadh, packing both a killer line-out of Irish heaviosity, and a delicious festival-name pun.

02. An all-dayer rather than a weekend blowout, in the style of the Siege of Limerick and its various imitators (fight, etc.), RoadBurren packs a varied bill of artists and producers on the heavier end of the metal and electronic spectra.

03. Headlining are noise/ambient unit From the Bogs of Aughiska, and Galwegian post-metalcore outfit Ilenkus (seen freaking out Saturday shoppers in their home city in the video above). Also on the bill: folk-metallers Celtachor, black-metallers Mortichnia, dark ambient from Ruairí O’Baoghaill, and electroacoustic soundscaping from Barry Dillon.

04. Alongside the merchandise stands and craft beer will be a screening of the excellent Fractured series of documentaries. A must-see look at the unfairly-ignored but infinitely compelling and evolving Irish metal scene.

Verdict: Get to this if you possibly can. As Ireland’s independent music scene continues to grow and diversify across all genres (without much in the way of help or industry resources), festivals and all-dayers like it will need all the support they receive to become (and stay) viable options for venues and promoters alike, especially outside of the major urban centres.

RoadBurren Fleadh


Rabid Bitch of the NorthGreen Eyes

What you may need to know…

1. Belfast’s Rabid Bitch of the North trade exclusively in a falsetto-laden, old-school strain of thrash metal, with pockmarks of the genre’s NWOBHM predecessors for good measure. Precisely zero fecks are given at any point for your opinion on the matter.

Green Eyes is out now via Greek label Alone Records, on the hallowed medium of 7″ vinyl, with an accompanying woven patch (for your battle jacket) also available. The suitably retro video (above) was directed and edited by Full Scope Films.

3. They’re great craic live, in fairness. We caught them at an installment of the Siege of Limerick all-dayer a while back and had fun. Their lean, tight, power-trio setup just does their tunes justice.

4. They’re supporting American metal legends Argus at On The Rox in Dubland on March 13, alongside heavy-metal traditionalists Stereo Nasty. Tickets €15 on the door with merch stalls on the night.

Verdict: While possibly not everyone’s cup of tay, even in the preponderously fractured & diverse world of metal and its derivatives, there’s no knocking RBOTN’s dedication to providing a decent dose of unassuming, unpretentious thrash. Fair balls.

Rabid Bitch Of The North