ARTICLE: Top Irish Rock/Metal Releases

I’m ashamed to admit but despite being Irish I had been very out of touch with my own countries music scene, even sighing at the prospect of a local band playing at any concert of an international artist I was attending. However, over the last couple of years I’ve been exposed in many ways to some great music either through writing music reviews or recent concerts. Below is a list of just a small amount of the music I’ve unearthed and had the pleasure of listening to:

Aeternum Vale – Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges (2013)

Aeternum Vale - Inter Arma Enim Silent LegesThe first time I heard black metal group Aeternum Vale was by complete chance when they were announced as a very last minute replacement band at Behemoths most recent Irish show. Their captivating and mysterious performance captivated me and a few months later I was lucky enough to review their debut album Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges. It’s atmosphere was dark and oppressive, the riffs cold and the vocals of Colin Byrne were menacing.

Corr Mhóna – Dair (2014)

Corr Mhona - DairRather unique among Irish bands, and indeed even many Irish people in general, Corr Mhóna’s song are entirely sung in our native tongue. The music is a mixture of black and doom metal with folk elements, carrying a melancholic sound which perfectly compliments our natural rainy weather. Also of note is the use of multiple layers of vocals to give a choral effect at many points.

Darkest Era – Severance (2014)

Darkest Era - SeveranceDarkest Era sound like a mix of Thin Lizzy’s heavier moments couple with the black/folk metal sound of Primordial. Every song on this album sounds like an anthem without the feeling that its being forced upon you. The vocals sound huge, the guitars are equal parts heavy and catchy, while the drumming is impeccable throughout.

Iron Mountain – Unum (2015)

Iron Mountain - UnumI first heard Iron Mountain when they played with blackgazer’s Alcest last year. Rather rare among post-rock bands, the group came out and had the standard drum/bass/guitar players but also had a number of traditional instruments such as flutes and Uilleann pipes to create a sound all their own. An enthralling released with each track building up over time and dragging you in.

Malthusian – Below the Hengiform (2015)

Malthusian - Below the HengiformMalthusian have been making waves in the European underground death metal scene with their demo MMXIII and this E.P. Mixing death, black and doom together in a filthy and suffocating manner, the triple vocal attack is the draw of the band with screams and gutturals sounding like they’re coming from the depths of hell.

Midnight Transmission – Face the Sun (2015)

Midnight Transmission - Face the SunThis was an album that really surprised me when I first got hold of it. Initially thinking it was just another rock album, I was completely won over when I listened to the whole album through. Basing their music firmly in the roots of 90’s grunge and alternative rock, they quickly prove they’re more than just a nostalgia act with blistering vocals and stellar guitar work along with the songs to back them up.

Sebek – Into The Maelström (2015)

Sebek - Into The MaelströmMelodic death metal bands are somewhat of a rarity in Ireland but Cork-based Sebek are a fine example of what the scene have to offer. Their debut E.P. Into The Maelström sounds huge thanks to its stellar production job. Think of Amon Amarth and you’re not far off the mark with how Sebek sound but they do throw in some surprises, most notably the bass FX used in its title track closing.

Shardborne – Living Bridges (2015)

Shardborne - Living BridgesI was given a music masterclass when I witnessed a live performance of instrumental progressive metallers Shardborne at last years ‘Perverting the Innocent’ festival. These guys are top notch musicians who combine the best of progressive music with some death metal elements thrown in. With each listen to a track you unearth more and more musical layers and elements, keeping them fresh and interesting.

Sonus Mortis – Propaganda Dream Sequence (2014)

Sonus Mortis - Propaganda Dream SequencePropaganda Dream Sequence is an hour long slab of grandiose and apocalyptic death metal and it’s all the work of a single man, Kevin Byrne formally of death metal group Valediction. Combining the sounds of Dimmu Borgir, The Project Hate and Paradise Lost, Sonus Mortis is seeping in power and atmosphere that would normally be hard to find in a bigger band let alone a solo project.

Xerosun – Seek the Blood (2015)

Xerosun - Seek the BloodXerosun have undergone a number of lineup and musical changes over the years. Seek the Blood is the first release of this latest lineup and the debut of their heavier sound. The group switch between groovy death metal bursts and catchy melodic choruses at the click of a finger making it all seemess. This new sound is led by new vocalist Martyna Halas-Yeates who’s style goes from guttural to sweet to keep up with the music.

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