Celtachor and Waylander: 05/10/12

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This was a gig last Saturday held from around 2 in the afternoon to accommodate the fact that across town, Voivod and Doom, were playing in the Village that night.  To attract attention for this, the organisers Into the Void, decided to hold this as an-all ages affair and to make it accessible to everyone. The fact that two of Ireland’s premier pagan metal bands were playing at it, made it an extremely enticing prospect.  It is easy for many to see such bands and to think of the likes of Finntroll and Korpiklaani.  There are major differences however.  The two Irish bands embody what it is to embrace a more ancient and interesting time, rather than a deliberate attempt to court commercial favour.

Celtachor have a more doomy/black sound to them to set them apart.  Inspired by the likes of Cruachan, Primordial and Tyr but also the likes of Enslaved and Bathory.  They are a band that have in a quite short period of time have gained quite a live reputation for themselves and are set to release their debut album around November.  And in frontman, Stefan De Roiste, they certainly can get themselves noticed.  Eyes bulging in urging the crowds response and clad in traditional Gaelic dress, he certainly makes himself known.  In addition to his vocals, he also contributes on tin whistle.  He is not a one-man project though and is ably backed up by the excellent Anais on drums and solid bass and guitar work.  In the Hall’s of Nuada, Rise of Lugh, The Battle of Tailtin are all tasters of the upcoming release whilst the Riders of the Fomor remind us of the excellent work on their sold out debut EP.

Waylander from Armagh, are due to be celebrating twenty years as a band next year, have a bit of an issue today.  Michael Proctor, their bassist, has had a family bereavement, and cannot make it down in time for the gig.  So, the band has to perform bassless for the gig.  Initially, they do seem to be slightly worried by this and especially the two guitarists, Tor Dennison and Saul McMicheal.  Waylander are a band that are inspired by the past and especially the work of bands such as The Horslips, but taking in themes from their own experiences from growing up in the troubles in Northern Ireland.  They soon manage to find their feet though and especially multi-instrumentalist, Dave Briggs, who takes the opportunity to show case his tin whistle work.  Front-man Ciaran O’Hagan, is very different in styles to the previous band, in that he possesses far more of a harsher sound almost akin to one of the German thrash leaders, Mille Petrosa or Tom Angelripper.  The crowd are really into it now and songs like A Hero’s Lament, Born to the Fight, Honour Amongst Chaos, The Light, the Dark and the Endless Knot please all, whilst new tracks like Of Fear and Fury and Kindred Spirits make all quite interested in the new album due out.

All in all a good day.

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