Celtachor – “Nuada Of The Silver Arm” (Trollzorn)
As bloody and savage as their history, Ireland’s Celtachor draw inspiration and convey through their music legends and tales steeped in Celtic mythology and early Irish history. Clearly no Riverdance, there is absolutely nothing jovial or ‘diddly-dee’ about Celtachor, who are a powerful pagan presence seeing themselves as reciters of the ancient tales of Ireland in their own voice and way. Throughout its nine bold tracks, “Nuada Of The Silver Arm” tells the saga of King Nuada, who lost his arm in battle with the Fir Bolg over Ireland, only to return with a silver one to do battle again! Playing pounding pagan black metal frequently working itself into a tribal frenzy, Celtachor vividly capture the dark, brooding essence of these ancient times on epic songs like ‘King Eochaid’s Fall’ and ‘Second Battle Of Magh Tuireadh’ where deep, drawling vocals mix with raw, haunting black rasps amidst intense riffing, pounding war drums and heavy use of the bodran. Equally though, they show their passion and the artistry of their ancestors through flowing ethereal melodies, Irish whistles and warrior choirs on sombre, reverent songs like ‘Nuada’s Burial’ that truly convey the sadness of the Tuatha Dé Danann following their Ard Ri’s death. Two years in the making, I have great respect for Celtachor in both their historical research, composing and musicianship, drummer Anaïs Chareyre’s tasteful artwork, not to mention “Nuada Of The Silver Arm”‘s heartfelt passion that inspired me to seek out more on these legends, so definitely not an album to be missed!