Celtic pagan metal can be a very derivative genre. Unless you’re Primordial and have figured out how to move it on, it’s a case of tin whistle, a few bouncy riffs, a lot of spirit and not a great deal else.
So it’s interesting to hear Celtachor, who despite having nothing beyond any of the aforementioned have actually done alright.
This is a low fi demo, basically recorded, with no duplication frills and a sound that could at best be described as Economy. As ever though, talent shines through, and though I wouldnt go getting excited just yet, there are one or two tracks of the six on here that suggest these lads do indeed know how to pen a tune.
It starts off so-so. Typical moody intro, and some heard it all before pagan metal. Then staggeringly, the band mature gracefully in the space of two tracks.
‘In The Halls of Nuada’ is a belter – no doubt about it. It’s slow, slightly ponderous, basic, and frequently out of time. Yet it has emotion, power, conviction and a vocal delivery that spits enthusiasm for the topic. The same can be said of ‘Riders Of The Fomor’, with its verse’s nice slowing hook. An air puncher, to be sure.
Things change with ‘The Sons Of Tuireann And The Blood Fine’. There’s less of the ballad to this one, and a sense of slightly more malice. For some reason, slower Darkthrone comes to mind with the mean groove. It closes in rousing fashion, and is a real case of a job well done.
Overall the vocals are a highlight. They’re caustic and real, well delivered and believable. It’s the same with the drums and the guitar. They’re not good by any measure, and yet they’re right.
There are a great many ways this demo could be improved. In spite of its failings it’s infectious because the band have the right ideas and the right approach, even if their playing is frequently a disaster.
Perhaps the biggest surprise is that the tin whistle isn’t bad at all – in fact in more than one instance I’m taken back to the likes of Stille Volk, which is a nice trip down memory lane. So, a case of celtic metal to look forward to?
Perhaps so. They’ve done it without the stomach bending cheese factor, which is no mean achievement. Keep up at this rate and we could have a band worth boasting in two or three years. Good art too.
– Earl Grey ::: 31/10/10