Guest Post: Fresh Rot from the Irish Underground
Today OG Toileteer IronLawnMower walks us through some of the very best metal in the extreme Irish scene.
Good afternoon, girls and ghouls. When many of you think of Ireland, you likely picture a lush green paradise of jaunty folk tunes and playful alcoholism where Leprechauns roam free and everything looks a bit like Lord of the Rings. I assure you this is not the case. In reality, Ireland (and Northern Ireland where I reside) is an industrial era hellhole where decayed brutalist concrete buildings surround you, their once pure facades worn down by years of weather and graffiti, a constant grim reminder of the slowly healing scars resulting from the decade’s long strife of The Troubles. As a result of this or perhaps in spite of this, the island has a thriving metal scene which I hope you’ll appreciate more by the end of this article. Today I will be focusing on the Northern Irish scene, the one that appeals most to my personal biases and with which I am intimately familiar.
Formed in January of 2014, The Crawling have cemented their reputation in the underground through a campaign of crushing live shows, a single, an EP, and a featured slot at Bloodstock’s New Blood stage. Featuring members of Zombified and Honey for Christ, The Crawling are a death/doom band of the most miserable kind, playing slow, heavy downtuned riffs where every note drips with sheer overbearing misery and relays tales of woe and failure of the human endeavour. The Crawling want you to know why you crawl. Plus they’re cool dudes despite that one time I made people think one of their gigs was cancelled.
Speeding things up by a factor of 9999 we have Hyper Thrash speed bastards Acid Age. With the release of their second full length album of crossover tinged technically beautiful faster-than-a-monkey-on-meth thrash, Acid Age are set for big things, evidenced by a successful UK-wide tour last year. Guitarist Jude makes a guitar sing in ways you didn’t know were possible and takes cues from all the genre greats as well as a few non-metal players, all blending into s unique style. Vocalist Eddie “Limbs” Cross yells about zombie sharks (probably) under the influence of a cocktail of psychoactive drugs and jet fuel. The rhythm team of Jake Martin and Luke Tolcher (now replaced by Aran Howe) is now slouch, though, keeping the whole demented speeding jalopy together with superglue and prayers. If you like to go fast, pick up their latest album Like a Runaway Combine Harvester in a Field of Crippled Rabbits either directly from the band themselves or the label Witches Brew.
Death metal played the way God intended (Old School as FUCK with production to match), Overoth don’t break new ground but rather stick to what we all know and love. It’s what they do with that ground that sets them apart, though. They build a Kingdom of Shadows in a Forbidden Realm, one constructed of cyclopean riffs and haunting leads. Overoth’s music will drag you down into a nightmarish dimension of unspeakable horrors where alien entities unknown to even the most esoteric of grimoires will tear apart your corporeal being, and you will enjoy every moment of it. They’ve been quiet on the release front since their full length a few years back, but live shows are still a semi regular treat. This is the band for you if you love that Tampa sound from back in the day.
Another band playing Bloodstock this year is Rabid Bitch of the North. RBOTN’s sound can best be described as riffy NWOBHM inspired traditional heavy metal with an emphasis on melody and harmonised sing-along parts. They’ve been active for just over 10 years and are only now getting on the task of releasing a full length after honing their sword to a molecule-thin edge. Their most recent single “Green Eyes” is an exercise in sheer bloody-minded headbangable fun with more thrills than a McDonald’s quarter pounder while being thrice as filling. Like many bands I’ve talked about here The Bitch are a phenomenal live act, having honed their craft opening for bands such as Angel Witch and Hell as well as headlining their fair share of gigs. The Bitch is definitely an act to watch out for. Plus there’s this deliciously cheese music video.
Thanks again to IronLawnMower for this exciting exposé of Irish metal! I’ve linked to all the bands’ Bandcamp profiles in their names above, so be sure to check their pages out and buy some siqq jamz!