When I first started writing about metal, I would have never imagined how many people from Ireland I would end up connecting with. Since making friends and diving into the Irish way of metal, I’ve come to discover great bands to spice up my collection.
When I cover bands outside of the States, it’s fascinating to speak with these artists, and hear how their music reflects their home. As you’ll soon discover, there are some strong themes across many of these Irish bands that represent the ideas and vibes of their country.
As always, I like to shine a light on the bands you may not have heard of that proudly represent their scene. I’ve include a record/song for each band, along with Bandcamp and Facebook links. Without further ado, here are eight of my favorite Irish metal bands!
These were the guys that kicked off my love for the country’s scene! Elder Druid is a cool group of guys who make stellar stoner jams. They toss in some psychedelic sludge vibes into their progression, presenting an overall ominous occult aura. With plenty of distortion that rocks to a catchy rhythm, it’s impossible not to toss your body around to Elder Druid’s magic. You can check out my review of their latest LP, Carmina Satanae.
Ten Ton Slug
Continuing with the stoner vibes, Ten Ton Slug is a band that layers on a stronger sludge presentation. The immediate terror that’s the pounding bass and rough guitar rhythm sets the stage for Ten Ton Slug’s guttural approach. Packing in plenty of grit with strings of melody, these guys are a fierce act that’ll get you throwing down in the pit. Distortion slithers its way through the composition, adding to the immense presence that Ten Ton Slug exude. You can also read my review on their latest EP, Blood and Slime.
Death The Leveller
Death The Leveller take on a melodic doom approach to their work. The somber droning of the guitar brings in a lighter appeal to the material, further enhanced by the clean singing. While still playing to dark rhythms, the use of the lighter tones help to bring a refreshing style to this doom act. As each song progresses, the vocal and guitar work bring forth an epic nature, rising with each shift in pitch.
Following on the atmospheric footsteps of its fellow countrymen, Gaoth takes on a blackened folk direction in their music. Lingering guitar notes drift throughout the composition, with blends of clean singing stirring to present evocative moods. When song structure takes a shift into heavier sections, it’s never jarring, but a welcoming transition that brings new air to the emotion. The murky vocal growls blend with the sober droning of the guitars, the latter producing an outstanding feeling of heartache at times.
A Distant Sun
On the other side of atmospheric music, A Distant Sun takes that same sort of emotion, but amplifies the energy. Beating drums and bass, along with melodic guitars and grueling vocals, make for a sinister presentation. Going from hazy rhythms to all-out shredding, A Distant Sun lures listeners into various shades of emotion that will get them fueled with adrenaline.
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Switching things up in a big way, the music of Warpath makes for a healthy dose of brutal death metal. Playing to insane speeds and asinine heaviness, their work is pure chaos. With a constant beat down of drum work, accompanying the high tempo slaughtering of guitar playing, Warpath deliver an overwhelming evil presence in every track.
Bringing back some of those atmospheric elements common among Ireland’s metal scene, Partholón infuse progressive tendencies into their work. Each song brings forth a different flavor, changing up style and playing to keep their sound interesting. There’s always a component of dark droning to be felt, but thanks to their ability to mesh post-rock and doom together, Partholón is able to create something that is unique and enthralling.
Ending things on a heavy note, Dúnmharú is a delightful blend of blackened brutal death metal. The relentless clashing of drums and thumping bass meet contorting guitar rhythms and monstrous vocals. With each passing second, songs unravel into madness, thanks to the overwhelming onslaught of instrumentation. Dúnmharú casts a vicious, unsettling vibe throughout each track, making it clear that they are one of the country’s heaviest bands around.
And there you have it, eight incredible bands from Ireland! There are some similarities that each of these bands share, which is fascinating to think what impact the land may have on their art.
What are some bands from Ireland you enjoy that I didn’t mention? Sound off in the comments and thanks for reading!
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