Friday, 29 July 2011

Celtachor - In The Halls of Our Ancient Fathers [2010]

1. Nemed's Wake
2. Rise of Lugh
3. In the Halls of Nuada
4. A Warning to Balor
5. Riders of the Fomor
6. The Sons of Tuireann and the Blood Fine
7. The Wavesweeper

Celtachor have been a rising star and dominating force in Ireland's underground metal scene. Blending black metal with Irish flute medleys, Celtachor have created their own unique take on Irish myth, folklore and history.

The eerie and grim sounds of "Nemed's Wake" begin the demo, combined with a tribal-styled drum beat and haunting choir vocals. The orchestration that follows is epic and grand, whilst being a mood lifter at the same time. The second track, "Rise Of Lugh", starts with a slow-paced but heavy guitar riff that increases in tempo when the vocals burst in. The drums are savagely played and the Irish flute medleys speak to the soul in a hypnotic and enchanting manner. The vocals are raw and aggressive, sort of like the black metal version of a banshee's scream. The flute-only break in the second half of the track is just genius. The song comes to an epic end.

"In The Halls of Nuada" begins with a wonderful and melodic flute riff. The guitars sneak their way onto the track before making a loud and thunderous roar alongside the drums and vocals. The song certainly favours raw and brutal aggression over the Celtic medleys in the two previous tracks - though there is nothing wrong with this, unless you prefer flutes over guitars. Halfway through the demo comes "A Warning To Balor" which begins with a classic rock styled intro in terms of drums and guitars, though the vocals have that raw, angry style to them. This track contains no flute medleys, favouring a driving metal style over a Celtic feel. "A Warning To Balor" stays very classic rock sound throughout its entirety, which is interesting considering how well the music blends with the vocals.

The intro "Rider's Of The Fomor" is very bass dominated, though the guitars do make an appearance eventually. The flute makes its sagaic return to this track as well, giving it a very mythic and epic feel. The song is certainly one of the more aggressive songs on the demo. The second to last song "The Sons of Turieann and the Blood Fine" has a slow, solemn Celtic sound to begin with which is soon replaced by the raw and feral guitars and drum work. The vocals seem more hateful, violent and bloodthirsty as well - Which is a brilliant thing as it makes the track that much more brutal. Some of the riffs are slightly melodic which is a good addition.

The demo ends with "The Wavesweeper". The intro is slow but heavy, building up a very tense atmosphere. As the track progresses, it gets heavier and more vicious. The vocals, still raw and bloodthirsty, add a new dynamic to the track, making it more enjoyable to listen to. The use of somewhat melodic riffs makes up for the lack of flutes medleys on the track. Overall, there isn't a fault with the track at all - Unless you count the lack of flutes.

If Celtachor were around in the pre-Christian days of Ireland, they would have no doubt have been bards amongst the Irish tribes as "In The Halls Of Our Ancient Fathers" is a monumental demo and a brilliant way to tell the tales of the days gone by in Ireland. Celtachor clearly have got what it takes to be a force to be reckoned with on the international extreme metal scene.


Nico Davidson

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