Demo Review: Celtachor – In the Halls of Our Ancient Fathers
Artist: Celtachor (Ireland)
Album: In the Halls of Our Ancient Fathers (Demo, 2010)
Genre: Celtic Folk Metal
When bands start dressing up in checkered Celt clothing, you know you’re dealing with Celt Metal. Celtachor here is fresh on the job, despite its ancient roots. The group of four joined up as a band in 2007 and has come up with two demos so far. One of those carries the title In the Halls of Our Ancient Fathers and if they have properly released it, they could’ve nearly called it an album.
That’s not only because it carries enough music (seven tracks and over 35 minutes worth of tunes), but also because it sounds nearly too good for a demo. I’m saying nearly, because it’s still got some rough edges here and there and the mixing is a little flat, but that could’ve been fixed with minimal efforts and investments. At least I think so, I’m not aware of what a proper mix-job costs in Dublin, Ireland.
ItHoOAF kicks in with a fuckin’ nifty intro with an ancient spiritual load that sets high expectations for the rest of the demo. It features choirs and strings and a bunch of other stuff I can’t put my finger on. I’m strongly suspecting it to be made with some kind of musical simulation tool, like Magix Music Maker or something. But even if that’s indeed true, they managed to get it sounding pretty fuckin’ real!
When the intro finishes, there’s a brief rest during which you’ll feel anticipation for the next track rising steeply, such is the power of that intro. The first notes of the first real song, Rise of Lugh, might put you off a bit at first, as they’re of a completely different nature; raw, dark, hoarse. But the song quickly recovers and the intro will soon be forgotten. What plays is a basis of crude Metal with acid vocals covered in a layer of tin whistle.
Like most of the songs on ItHoOAF, Rise of Lugh is a rather long song, spanning up very nearly six minutes in total. But the music doesn’t bore. It just batters and rambles on, determined and fixed on purpose, over peaks and through troughs.
Most songs tend to have that heroic angle of attack and atmosphere. The song A Warning to Balor is different though. It seems more up tempo and victorious. It kinda gives me that 1980’s Rock vibe of ass-kickery. You know, like Eye of the Tiger, only then good, or maybe some Van Halen. Hard to put a finger on it, but you get the idea.
Overall, this demo is promising. It’s now important the band picks up on professionalism and pushes recording and mixing quality to the next level. There can be more depth in layering, perhaps an extra guitar line, and some more oomph. However, they should watch not to lose their jagged edge. The rawness matches the Celtic imagery and inspiration and should be employed as a key differentiator.
The good news for you is that the full demo is available for free and legal download from the group’s ReverbNation. You can also go to their Facebook – where the demo is also available for streaming – to give ‘em some Celtic love.
My Grade: 7.5/10
Buy this when: Just download the bugger for free and give the band some love!
- you’re behind your time by about twelve centuries
- you dig a good whipping piece of raw folk