Archive for December, 2017

2018: Ones To Watch!

2018: Ones To Watch!



2018 is fast approaching and there’s without doubt many Irish bands that are set to unleash new material upon us during the year. Many of which we are currently unaware, but there’s some bands that we know have material coming in 2018. If not, working on it anyway… 

Here’s a few bands we recommend you keep a close eye on next year. 



Cork based Hardcore/Metal band WORN OUT released their debut video/single in mid December. This is a serious statement of intent! They very much remind me of early Cancer Bats, and that’s a massive compliment coming from me! I’m very much looking forward to what happens next in 2018! 


Call To Arms

Dublin based Call To Arms are set to release their debut album in 2018. A band that have steadily being on the rise for three years now and ready to take it up a notch in 2018. Bigger things await! 




Sixth Extinction 

Clonmel based Groove metal monsters Sixth Extinction went to Denmark in 2017 to work with acclaimed producer Tue Madsen. They are set to release their debut album in 2018. This is going to be good! 



Belfast based Oracle are set to release their debut full length in 2018. They have a five track EP coming first! Considering all the hype coming down, I reckon these lads have something serious in the bag! We are very much looking forward to it! 



Dublin based Death metal titans Jenova are working on new material and hopefully we shall see the next step in this amazing bands evolution in 2018! It’s going to be different, but it is also going to be really good! 


By Conquest Or Consent 

Belfast based By Conquest Or Consent were everywhere in 2015 and then suddenly vanished. They are back with a new single and a new EP to come in 2018. I’m looking forward to their future release as their previous album ‘Empires’ was among my favourite in 2015. 



Belfast based Erosion have just released a new track ‘Manic Smile’ from their self described forthcoming collection of songs “The Cyclopean passage”.  The lads are also confirmed for ‘Rally Of Lúgh Longarm’ so an eventful year awaits them! 


Iona Death Cult 

Dublin based Doom/Sludge/Progressive metal band Iona Death Cult are set to release a new EP early in 2018. The band are on the rise and getting better as time progresses. This could be one of the better releases of early 2018? 

Words That Burn 

After the massive success that was their 2016 release ‘Regret Is For The Dead’ the lads have a new single on the way. The bar was set very high with that album. We gave it our album of the year award last year, so I’m very much looking forward to this release! 



A newly formed black metal trio featuring Shane Hughes formerly of Shrouded. The lads are set to play their first gig supporting Bloodshot Dawn next month and it’s only up from there on. No links etc available as of now, but they are certainly one to keep an eye on in 2018! 


God Alone. 

Cork based Post Metal band God Alone. really made a splash in 2017. Coming from nowhere a band with members aged 16-18 released their debut EP and got the country talking. They are set to release their debut album in 2018 so I’m very much looking forward to hearing it. Incredible potential here!  


Dublin based Marabou are set to release a new EP in 2018. Two new members and now a four piece. A release I’m very interested to hear as the new members will definitely add a new dynamic to their sound. I expect this to be a great EP.  



Belfast based Death metal band Idominus are set to release a new album in 2018. The lads have played together for a while now and I expect this to be an improvement on their previous EP ‘Legion Within’. Another release I’m looking forward to hearing! 


Afterlife To Ashes

Dublin based Alt-metal band Afterlife To Ashes just released their new single ‘Park Benches’ and set to record their follow up release sometime in 2018. 


Black Shuck

Featuring 3/4 members of  Negativ Result. Galway based Black Shuck are set to release new material in 2018. No details as of yet. It’ll be different from their days of old… 


The Sluagh

Dublin based Death Metal band The Sluagh are set to release their self titled album this year. Still in production at present. From this track, it’s already an early album of the year contender! I’m very much looking forward to hearing the full album! 


That’s all the upcoming releases I’m aware of at present. There’s a lot more without doubt, but for now this is our list of bands to watch in 2018. 

Another great year for Irish metal beckons! 









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Our 10 Favourite Releases Of 2017

Our 10 Favourite Releases Of 2017


In this list I share my ten favourite releases of 2017. Some will say where’s this? Where’s that? Which is fine! That’s why I titled this my favourite releases. It would be a bit egotistical to say my own choices are the best…

There’s a lot of Irish releases in here. For no other reason than they deserve their spot. If I listened to it more than once, it’s probably on this list. Not to say other releases are bad. I get so much music sent to me on a daily basis and while the majority of it is very good. Some just don’t grab me like others.  

I had planned to do a bigger list but I don’t have a regular job and Christmas is among our busiest times so time restraints dictated I pick just ten.

In no particular order, here’s the releases I keep returning to!


The Vicious Head Society – Abject Tomorrow

It’s no secret at this point I considered this to be the best album of 2017. I’ve shouted about this since we got a review copy earlier this year. I love Prog metal, and this is everything about the genre done right! The only way it could be improved would be Mikel from Opeth on vocal duties. A true masterpiece that I will return to many times over the course of my life and always enjoy it. A true timeless classic! 


Eternal Helcaraxe – In Times Of Desperation

If ‘Abject Tomorrow’ was not released, this would have been my album of the year! While at its core it’s a Black metal release, it also has real progressive elements to include an instrumental track which is also the title track. I’ve listened to this album on repeat on at least five occasions in the last week as the album only dropped on the 29th. The beauty of this site is the press releases… It’s a true masterpiece and I’ll return to it many more times in the future. The best black metal release this year for me anyway. I’m addicted to this album! 


Overoth – The Forgotten Tombe

This was my favourite Irish Death metal album this year without doubt. Another album I played constantly for about a week upon release. I still return to it now, but generally to listen to ‘God Of Delusion’ again as I absolutely love that track! It’s due another repeat play through so I might as well have it on while doing up this list! Another masterpiece that shall be returned to again and again as the years progress. Overoth came of age with this release!  


Nautilus – The Wrath Of The Sea

I’ve been a fan of this band for years now. I still remember the first time I saw them play live. Granted I’d had a few shandies and some lad gave me a funny cigarette. I think it may have contained ‘The Weed’. Thankfully I didn’t turn into a serial killer or that as a result… I was just standing there and they completely blew me away! The lads had line up issues and recorded this a long time before it finally saw the light of day. It did not disappoint upon release. Everything I saw coming had manifested. Another masterpiece I’ll be listening to years from now. Incredible album! 


The Crawling – Anatomy Of Loss

A band of heavily experienced musicians that all came together to form The Crawling in 2014. In that short time they’ve released an EP, their debut album ‘Anatomy Of Loss’ also playing festivals such as Bloodstock Festival and Metal Days. Their growth is no fluke and this album proved it! Another I’ve listened to numerous times over the year and will no doubt again in the future. A brilliant album start to finish and their D.I.Y videos are always excellent! 



Jenova – The Less You Know, The More You Sleep

Jenova were neck and neck with Drakonis for our EP award. The fact the lads didn’t have a promo picture just swung it. The day after they published one… I suppose let that be a lesson to any bands reading this. A promo picture is extremely important for media sources. A truly excellent Death metal release that I have listened to many times since release. They’re also one of the best live acts in this country and always blow me away when they play live. Brian is growing into an absolute beast as frontman. He has a scream that almost blows the PA! It’s a true sight to behold. A band that are really going places and I’m very much looking forward to their future releases. 

Drakonis – The Great Miasma

This was our EP of the year and a release I’m still listening to on a regular basis. This band showed real promise and fully delivered with this EP. It’s Black metal of course, but with more! So many dynamics and layers to their sound. A true masterpiece that has me more than enthused for their full album release which is coming next. A band I have to see live in 2018! One of the best black metal bands in this country and releases in the genre this year. Beyond brilliant! 

Oblivion – The Path Towards… 

Oblivion are a super band basically. Members of All Shall Perish, Nile, Suicide Silence as examples involved. The revolving door of musicians involved only make this album better as it never gets in any way boring or one dimensional. We awarded this the best international album of the year and that’s a big one I suppose considering the releases this year. I just keep returning to this album and I’m shocked it is not getting huge attention. It does absolutely everything right and when I play the album it is always start to finish! A true death metal masterpiece that should be so much bigger than it is. The worlds best kept secret, that should not be a secret!  


Dyscarnate – With All Their Might

Another album I listened to on repeat for days upon release. I’ve always been a massive fan of this band, but this was just perfect! Al Llewellyn was brought in on Bass/Vocals and was the perfect match for Tom and Matt. While I loved their previous releases, the dynamic on this album was another level. Dyscarnate really came of age with this album. An absolute masterpiece! 

Ne Obliviscaris – Urn

What can I say about this album? It’s just phenomenal. There’s so much going on start to finish and a true work of art! This band have created their own genre with this release and one I’ll be listening to in ten years time without doubt! Absolutely magical. Nothing else needs to be said! 


That’s my ten personal favourite releases this year. Some will disagree with my choices, but that’s the beauty of this world. We all have free speech and opinion. Well, in the western world anyway… 

I had planned to do a top 30, but I couldn’t find the time due to work etc sadly so releases you may rate highly could have missed out for that reason. I could name them all here, but it wouldn’t do them justice without a link. 




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Eternal Helcaraxe Release Long Awaited Second Album ‘In Times Of Desperation’



Cavan based black metal band Eternal Helcaraxe have released their long awaited second album ‘In Times Of Desperation’. 

We reviewed this album last week and gave it a perfect 10/10. As time has progressed and repeat listens, I rate it just as highly and easily one of my favourite releases of 2017. 

They released this brief statement.

“Its finally here!
Our new album “In Times Of Desperation” is available now!
You can listen to the full release stream and purchase on Digital, CD & Digipack here:…

Thank you to all who have preordered!” 

The album can be streamed in full here! 



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Our Complete List Of Irish Releases In 2017

Our Complete List Of Irish Releases In 2017


2017 was another great year for heavy music on this small island of ours! It’s remarkable how many great releases we get annually and 2017 was no different! 

We have compiled what I believe to be every Irish release. If we missed one? Please let us know and we can ad them to the list. It’s a big list!! 

Please note! After much work on this piece. They have to be album/EP release! We cannot include anything else sadly. 

Social media links etc will not work on a piece of this size so it’s a very basic description and the music itself. Be it a singular track, Bandcamp link, Album link. Whatever is available to us!

It’s not alphabetical or in genres etc. 

Here we go! 



Progressive Sludge. Released album ‘Ethos Pathos Logos’. 


The Vicious Head Society 

Progressive Metal. Released album ‘Abject Tomorrow’ 


The Crawling 

Death metal. Released album ‘Anatomy Of Loss’ 



Death Metal. Released album ‘The Forgotten Tombe’ 



Black/Death Metal. Released EP ‘Ominous Divinity’ 

This band are no longer together due to the sad passing of their frontman Dani Kansanaho. 


Strangle Wire 

Death metal. Released single ‘Narcissism’ 



Doom metal. Released album ‘The Wrath Of The Sea’


Pineal Gland 

Death/Groove Metal. Released album ‘Brainwashed Societies’. 


Zhi Ren 

Death/Alternative Metal. Released EP ‘Who Fucked The Monkey’. 



Death Metal. Released EP ‘The Less You Know The More You Sleep’. 


Cursed Sun 

Their own genre. Released EP ‘The Amygdala’ 



Black Metal. Released EP ‘The Great Miasma’ 


Weed Priest 

Doom metal. Released album ‘Consummate Darkness’.



Progressive rock/metal. Released self titled EP. 


Rabid Bitch Of The North 

Thrash metal. Released album ‘Nothing But A Bitter Taste’


Between The Lines

Grunge/Hard Rock. Released self titled album.  


Ten Ton Slug 

Sludge/Groove metal. Released EP ‘Blood and Slime’. 

Two Tales Of Woe 

Doom/Sludge metal. Released Live album ‘Woe Lives’.



Thrash metal. Released EP ‘The Venom Within’


Stereo Nasty 

Thrash/Melodic metal. Released album ‘Twisting The Blade’. 




Hardcore/Groove metal. Released EP ‘Rise’. 


Humanity Check

Thrash/Death/Groove metal. Released self titled EP. 


Scáth Na Déithe

Black metal. Released album ‘Pledge Nothing But Flesh’.


Death/Doom metal. Released self titled EP. 


Death metal. Released EP ‘Of Death and Delirium’. 

Apostate Viaticum

Death metal. Released album ‘Before the Gates of Gomorrah’. 

Eternal Helcaraxe 

Black Metal. Released album ‘In Times Of Desperation’. 


Iona Death Cult

Stoner/Sludge/Prog metal. Released EP ‘The Cult Is Real’. 

Death The Leveller

Doom metal. Released self titled EP. 


Hero In Error

Hardcore. Released EP ‘Obey’. 


Grindcore/Old school death metal. Released EP ‘Red Death (Flows Through My Veins)

This Place Hell

Hardcore/Metal. Released EP ‘Contempt’. 


Call To Arms

Modern metal. Released single ‘Vultures’. 


Dream Awake

Modern metal. Released EP ‘Don’t Hold Your Breath’. 



Post metal/hardcore. Released EP ‘PTSD’. 



Death metal. Released EP ‘The Ambience Of War’. 


Following The Signs

Hardcore/Metal. Released self titled EP. 



Power/Symphonic metal. Released album ‘The Ravages Of Time’.  


Unkindness Of Ravens

Progressive metal. Released album ‘The Perfect Dark’. 


Sixth Extinction

Groove metal. Released single ‘Your Gallows Await’. 



Thrash metal. Released album ‘Where Darkness Dwells’.



Death metal. Released split EP.



Black metal. Released EP ‘Vermin’. 



Death metal. Released Album ‘Vomited Forth From The Earth’.




Death Metal. Promo single. 


Aeternum Vale

Black metal. Promo single from ‘Ashes Of Memory’. 


Legion Of Wolves

Death metal. Released album ‘Bringers Of The Dark Sleep’.



Progressive metal. Released album ‘Deus Incognitus’. 

Na Cruithne 

Celtic metal. Released album ‘Gáirm An Fháintais’.



Alt-Metal. Promo single. 


Reverend JM’s Panic Worship

Dark Wave Gothabilly. Released promo single. 



Hard rock/metal. Released debut album. 



Black metal. Released EP ‘Beast Of The Moor’.


Black metal. Released album ‘Sacred and Profane’.


Stoner metal. Released album ‘Sullen Sanctuary’.



Alt-metal. Released self titled EP. 

Conjuring Fate

Thrash metal. Released album ‘Valley Of Shadows’.



Black metal. Released demo EP ‘Blight’.


Strawberry Stew 

Grunge. Released album ‘Midas Touch’.



Metalcore. Promo single. 


Elder Druid 

Doom/Fuzz metal. Released album ‘Carmina Satanae’.


So Long Until The Séance

Horror metal. Promo single. 


Peasant To A King 

Deathcore. Promo single. 


God Alone. 

Post metal. Released EP ‘Intivim’. 

Old Season 

Classic Heavy metal . Released album ‘Beyond The Black’.


Baleful Creed

Classic heavy metal. Released album ‘Seismic Shifter’.




Thrash metal. Released EP ‘No Gods No Masters Part 3’.



Progressive metal. Released album ‘The Architect’. 


Arjuna’s Eye

Progressive metal. Released album ‘The Invisible Landscape’. 



Doom metal. Promo single. 



Progressive metal. Promo single. 


Wild Rocket

Doom metal. Released album ‘Dissociation Mechanics’.


Nomadic Rituals

Doom/Sludge Metal. Released album ‘Marking The Day’


The Magnapinna

Alt Metal. Released EP ‘#Hashtag’



Death Metal. Released self titled EP. 


Hollow Truth

Hardcore. Released self titled EP. 

Ghost Origin

Progressive rock. Released EP ‘This Anarchy Is Mine’


Melodic metal. Released EP ‘Prophecies Of Blood’ 


Alt metal. Released single ‘Beyond The Glass’



Death metal. Released EP ‘Storms Of War’.

Mirrors Of Obsidian

Progressive tech metal. Released album ‘Form One Form’.


Dread Sovereign

Doom metal. Released album ‘For Doom The Bell Tolls’

 The Dystopian Project

Progressive rock/metal. Released EP ‘Paradigm’


Ritual Drone Doom. Released Demo ‘Doom Gloom and Shrooms’



Punk/Crust. Released album ‘Witch Hunt’

Abaddon Incarnate

Released live album ‘Live At Monsters Of Rot 2015’. The last gig to feature their classic line up of Steve M/ Steve F/ Bill/ Johnny.


Third Island 

Doom metal. Released EP ‘Dusk’


Trucker Diablo

Melodic metal. Released album ‘Fighting For Everything’


Blackwater Conspiracy

Melodic metal/hard rock. Released album ‘Shootin The Breeze’



Hardcore/Post metal. Release debut single ‘With False Hope’


Serpents Eve

Instrumental Doom Metal. Released EP ‘MMXVII’


That’s our round up for 2017 in regards to Irish releases. We may have missed some so lets us know if we did. 

Next year we shall have them quarterly and post all again at the end of the year. 

Another amazing year for Irish metal/heavy music!  



















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Best International Album: Oblivion – The Path Towards…



Our Irish awards for 2017 are now in the bag. We now move onto our favourite international releases. In which there were many, but some albums will leave an impression and some will not. This album I keep returning to and always enjoy! 

Oblivion are a super group in many regards. They feature members of Antagony, All Shall Perish, Hacksaw to the Throat, and Feast. With guests such as Karl Sanders from Nile also involved. 

The main reason I have returned to this album so many times is the variety. No death metal band sounds like Oblivion and it’s always an interesting listen. The guests and revolving line up throughout obviously play a big part, but it is very nice to have such an original and varied release coming in today’s world. Many bands try, but this band succeed on every level with this release. 

This was among our highest rated albums this year and for good reason! So many dynamics, debt and a satisfying overall listen every time. 

A timeless classic I’ll return to time and time again! 


Bandcamp link where the album can be purchased. 

On the eleven-track The Path Towards…OBLIVION — featuring within its ranks vocalist/bassist Nick Vasallo (ex-Antagony), guitarists Ben Orum (All Shall Perish, ex-Antagony) and Ted O’Neill (ex-Alchemicon), and drummer Luis Martinez (ex-Antagony, ex-The Zenith Passage) — has manifested a record that’s darker, heavier, and even more eclectic than their critically-adored debut, Call To Rise. Composed by Vasallo early this spring, the recording boasts an all-star lineup of guest artists that includes Karl Sanders (Nile, guest songwriter), Eddie Hermida (Suicide Silence/All Shall Perish, guest vocals), Enrico H. Di Lorenzo (Hideous Divinity, guest vocals), and Carlos Saldana (Connoisseur, guest vocals). The album also marks Orum’s and Vasallo’s first time collaborating on music since Antagony’s debut in 2001. With precise and intricate guitar solo work by O’Neill and legendary performances by Martinez, OBLIVION forges ahead stronger than ever with The Path Towards…

Eddie Hermida (Suicide Silence & All Shall Perish) provides guest vocals on ‘Concrete Thrones’, ‘Zenith’ and ‘Under A Dead Sun’. 

Enrico Di Lorenzo (Hideous Divinity) provides guest vocals on ‘Awaiting Autochton’ and Co wrote by Karl Sanders (Nile). 

Carlos Saldana (Antagony) also provides guest vocals on ‘Zenith’. 


DIGITAL ORDER NOW AVAILABLE: https://uniqueleaderrecords.bandcamp….

Bundles are currently available at THIS LOCATION.






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Hall Of Fame 2017: Fintan O’Toole

Hall Of Fame 2017: Fintan O’Toole



Fintan was a good friend of mine. We saw less and less of each other as time progressed, such as adult life usually dictates but he was one of the few people I knew that shared my incredibly dark sense of humour. He sadly passed away this year due to natural causes but turned it all around before he left. 

Like myself, he was a big fan of heavy music and had a little known show on Athlone Community Radio ‘The Atomic Hour’ that played heavy music. It would have been a lot better known had he tagged the bands he was playing as I told him to do numerous times, but he didn’t really get promotion so to speak. He did get a following, but should have been a lot bigger. He still manged to get heavy music played on a radio station based in the midlands. I’m fairly sure that was a first! I could be wrong, but I’m 99% sure he made Irish radio history by getting it played in the midlands. An unlikely achievement to put it mildly! 

Now I get personal. Fintan for many years had a serious problem with alcohol. Which I also shared. I was more of a functioning alcoholic that just got drunk every night and the weekends, but he was dedicated to the cause and done it full time! I had to take a few hours off each day to work and pretend I was a perfectly normal functioning person in society… We spent many days drunk together and usually lasted a couple of days before I had to return to reality so to speak. 

In 2011, December 8th to be exact. After my annual Dimebag day and waking up surrounded by beer cans and an empty bottle of Jack Daniels something finally clicked in my head and I quit alcohol completely for years. During that time Fintan was still in the hole, but one day I organised a car and we moved him out of the house we spent that time in. He was trying to get out of it, but I wasn’t having it! There’s a bit more to tell, but that’s the basics really! We moved him in with people who drank, but far from what we were like. He then saw me move into the music world doing all I done at the time in many different areas. It did, I won’t say inspire, but it did plant seeds to thought in his mind. If he can sort himself out and do something maybe I can too? We used to talk about it and he’d accept speech from me that he wouldn’t from others due to the fact I was also an alcoholic. Everyone else knew everything as they do. I was brutally honest about it all and I can’t remember what I said now, but it was probably something along the lines of finding your purpose or a purpose. Don’t start worshipping strange men that impregnate women and force them into homelessness at Christmas. Do what you want to do…. 

Jumping forward in time. He joined Athlone community radio as a volunteer and his life changed. The man wrote poetry also so he really got into that and performed at small poetry/reading groups. On his first performance in JJ’s in Roscommon I booed him when he was on stage. He was freaking out as it was, and that really knocked him. He soldiered through and always told me it was a defining moment in getting him over public speaking. That awful humour we shared actually got that side of his life going! Some of which is in the process of been published I believe. 

He also had me on the radio in promotion of the Xerath gig in ran in Athlone in 2015. That was a big one as they were touring to finish with a main stage slot at Bloodstock Festival. It was the only gig I ran in the short lived venue, but like Fintan and his radio show. Getting a big name metal band to Athlone was an unlikely dream accomplished and with his help we made another piece of Irish metal history! He was manning his radio show post and left briefly leaving this note which I’ll post here now. 

Long hair and a beard. At a metal gig… Good man Fintan! 


He achieved many other things after that and had came a long way in his life. I could go into more details about it all, but the picture has been painted! 

For getting heavy music to include Irish acts such as ProXist and The Vicious Head Society on midlands radio is worthty of this induction along with his help in relation to the Xerath gig. 

The last time we drank together at Christmas 2015 he actually won. I passed out on the couch and he was the last man standing. He never managed that before! A sign of how things had changed in both our lives. I had became a lightweight and he was at the point he wasn’t just topping up and could have a drinking session. 

I suppose that’s testament to how far he had came before he sadly passed away. 

Fintan. You’re in a hall of fame and I’ll post that picture at the end of you on a boat. I still remember how proud I was when I saw that. Fintan on a boat surrounded by water and didn’t fall overboard and possibly drown!?  

Who’d have seen that coming back in the day….





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