Tag Archives: metal


Unkindness of Ravens – sludgy gothic rock from Offaly

What you may need to know…

01. Offaly four-piece Unkindness of Ravens are a doom-metal-influenced outfit with gothic inflections. Think Sabbath by way of Chelsea Wolfe and Sisters of Mercy.

02. Certainly no strangers to reverence for metal traditions, the band started out as a motorcycle-fixated stoner-rock group monikered Road Rash, releasing a single extended-player before regrouping to their current configuration.

03. Streaming above is the band’s debut full-length, released last November via Michigan mail-order specialists Dura Gesta Records.

04. They’re on the road this weekend, playing Dublin’s Hangar on Saturday night, and Cork’s Urban Jungle on Sunday, in support of UK post-metallers OHHMS.

VERDICT: Big aul’ riffs are in as much abundance as cheesy organs here, and it makes for an immersive listen for fans of the aforementioned. One to be appreciated live.


The video for technical metal veterans Meshuggah’s new single Clockworks is miiiighty impressive, marrying the band’s Gigeresque art/aesthetic to dynamic, moving, fractal art courtesy of Dutch visual effects maestro Julius Horsthuis.

Clockworks is from the band’s new album The Violent Sleep of Reason, out now via Nuclear Blast Records.

Julius Horsthuis


Filmmaker John Mulvaney is one of many to turn his lens on music in Ireland, in lieu of any support for the community by the industry/officialdom.

Thus was born Fractured, a documentary series with an eye on metal and other harsh noises in Ireland, running on Metal Ireland and screening at various festivals and events throughout the past year.

The newest episode focuses on Clonmel prog/sludge outfit zhOra, and explores the band, their music, and growing/sustaining music outside of the industry in Ireland.

New episodes will appear here as they happen, also, but for now, here’s a catch-up playlist of the rest of the series so far, with eight episodes ready to watch.



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.