Dublin based Horrenda started as an experimental black metal solo project of Darragh “Outis” O’Connor in 2015. Most of the writing was done while playing with Theories Divide in which he split from in 2015, although still playing with Axial Symmetry and Saint Slaughter. The man doesn’t stop! 
In September 2015, Darragh released the project’s first two releases “Ecthra” and “Bellum Civile”.  He played bass, guitars, keys and did the vocals on all the demo tracks.Very soon after these releases dropped on Bandcamp, Horrenda were asked to be a part of the Wulfrune Worxwil/Vinland Wulf Warfield French label. Wulfrune Worxwil put out special cassette editions of “Ecthra” and “Bellum Civile” in November 2015.
In 2016, Horrenda stepped it up a notch and became and full live band focused on faster heavier material for their live sound. Darragh changed the tone of the band into something more akin to a mix of Mayhem, Darkthrone and the genre of Black gaze. Covering topics such as Irish mythology, politics and Irish history.
The project found a drummer (and later bassist) in Daragh “Créachta” Kenny (MORALITY, SVET KANT). Max “Urât” Bevan (EMETOPHILE and KOMANA) joined as a studio member. In April 2016, the outfit was completed with Arron “Nomad” O’ Shaughnessy on  Lead Vocals.
Horrenda were then signed to Depressive Illusions Records in 2016 and they released the “Neronian Times” demo in April 2016.
That’s their already impressive bio after such a short space of time. It’s also great to see a down and dirty Black metal band appearing here in Ireland. It’s a genre that’s very rare here now in many regards. This type of music was a trend in the 90’s, so they’re clearly doing it for the love of the music and have played quite a few gigs this year in Dublin already. 
If you’re a fan of old school Black metal? You’re going to love this band! The genre has became very melodic I suppose in many regards and this sound is quite unique now to hear from a young band. 

Check out EYE here. This is a high quality live recording and showcases their horrible nasty sound. But in the best possible way! 

Follow the band here on Facebook! Horrenda


Download link to their Bandcamp page! 

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Dream Awake

Dream Awake 

I was introduced to Belfast based Post Hardcore band Dream Awake a few days ago. Since then I’ve crash coursed their time as a band since 2014. 
Well, what do I think? I’m pretty damn impressed! This band are constantly improving and honing their craft at a rapid rate. Their latest offering “Summit” has the usual chugging riffs you would expect of a band of their genre, but they also have a great sense of melody in their lead guitar and the vocals to back in up! The band really make use of the fact they have two vocalists and use each to their absolute strengths. 
I reckon this band have an extremely bright future ahead of them. They have massive potential and their constant improvement in output only adds more fuel to that notion. 
The UK would love this band and I hope they’re sending “Summit” to the Fresh Blood radio show on Kerrang and really attacking the UK based groups online! This island of ours is limited, but with the sound this band have they really should start sending it anywhere they can across the pond. 

Check out “Summit” here and see why I reckon these lads are really on the right track and bigger things are coming! 


Follow them on Facebook here: Dream Awake



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Call To Arms

Call To Arms 


Dublin based Call To Arms are a band on the rise! Considering the band members are all aged between 18 and 21, it’s quite scary how good this band are becoming and what they have already achieved in two years. 
I’ve been following their progress for quite a while now and finally caught them live last month at the Bloodstock – Metal To The Masses Final. I was blown away! For such a young man, frontman Dean has the stage presence and charisma of someone that has played live for about 5/10 years. He’s just a natural and holds the crowd in the palm of his hand throughout. He makes the crowd feel part of it and encourage them to get involved. Behind him he has an extremely talented band that again sound like they have played years beyond what they have… 
The band are also very highly thought of within the Irish scene. H from DME took to his personal Facebook page in praise of the band in their promotion of their support slot with Evil Scarecrow. And I quote! “Call To Arms. Take a bow!” High praise indeed! They have also performed in front of and left a great impression on Simon Hall of Bloodstock Festival. Take into consideration the lower level people in the scene here all rate them and speak highly of them. It shows the rise is not changing them or going to their head. Which is a testament to the lads and will stand them in good steed going forward. 
The band are working away on new material from what I can gather as they played a new song last month when I saw them live. For me personally, the best song in their set. Made the older songs look weak in many regards so another sign they aren’t satisfied and want to improve all the time! 
I’ve linked their song “Mirrors” here, and I suggest you check it out as it’s now a live favourite of theirs. After that, follow the lads online and make sure you see this band live! You’ll be witnessing their rise which shows no sign of slowing down any time soon. Big things are coming for this band! Really Big Things!! 

Follow the lads on Facebook here! Call To Arms



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Zylum – Pray For Nothing EP Review

Zylum – Pray For Nothing 



Nenagh based Zylum are a band I’m familiar with for quite a while now in many different ways. I came across the lads at their last gig known as Borderline Prime at the now defunct Ballinmore Fringe Festival in 2013. I was very impressed and they told me they had a new band in the works so I friended Phil and Andre on the Facebook machine to keep up with their progress. 
At the time I ran gigs in Roscommon and during the last one I ran, the engineer I was working with had the mixes of their then EP and played them as we set up. I thought it was very good and started to follow Zylum in a big way. 
Fast forward a couple of years and there has been many changes. Co-founders Gerry and Ronan have left the band and Zylum is now a very different animal to what it was even twelve months ago. Ashley Holt is now on Drums and Dark Ambient master Ruairi O’Baoighill taking care of the electronic side to their music. 
I was very much a fan of their previous works, but the change has benefited the band here in a big way as this EP is easily their best work to date! They always had a dark side to their music, but this EP has taken it all up a few levels and everyone involved raised their game for this!
The EP kicks off with “Valley Of Redemption” and after a slow building electronic intro it kicks off in a big way. At first, maybe a bit too sudden but you then realise this song is going to sound amazing live as an opener and all is forgiven. It has a slower very groove filled part in the middle and the builds back up again and ends on a suitable climax.
Next up we have “Crown Of Thorns” which is probably my favourite song on this EP. It’s full of grooves, electronics, riffs, and fantastic vocals/lyrics. It’s slow and dirty sounding at times, but in the best possible way! It changes direction completely mid song and builds back up again, getting heavier than an American’s lunch box!   Then slowly fading out once more. 
“Christian Rituals” is up next and sounds suitably evil throughout. With lyrics such as “Can you hear the church bells call?” “This is what you’re dying for!” with great verse lyrics throughout. It’s also the most one dimensional song on the EP. Which I say in a good way as it really suits the feel of the whole song. Until the ending that is. Full of screams and Latin language! Which is a fucking great way to end this track. Hats off lads! 
Then we have “Destroyer”. Which I really want to like, but it’s a reworking of one of their older tracks. My favourite track from their first EP! It’s a great track, but as I liked the original so much I just can’t get into it. Saying that, it’s a great song and if you aren’t as familiar with the original as I am. You’ll enjoy this song. Especially the second half of the song. 
We now reach the final track of the EP “Reaper”. Probably the most technical song on the EP in many regards. So many layers and valleys throughout. Builds up, changes, slows down and fades out perfectly at the end. 

The lads have yet to set a full on release date for this EP as Bassist/Vocalist Philly is also a member of Unkindness Of Ravens and they have a very busy schedule this Summer with many festival appearances in there. 
Now, this is not something I’ve asked the lads nor have I any information on their plans. John from Bad Reputation is known for being very accommodating in his dealings. I’m talking music now. Nor shall I speculate on any other aspect! If the lads could pull it off, (Just NO!)  With Ruairi making a one time appearance if possible due to his heavy workload, and launch the EP at the next Siege in October? I reckon that would a great way to launch this amazing work and give them a platform to showcase it. The timing would be perfect for such a dark and almost haunting EP as it’s at Samhain/Halloween…

Lets wrap this up! This is the bands best work to date and if you’re a fan of dark ambient metal? You’ll love this band! If not? Just check it out anyway as it’s a quality release!


Check out Reaper here! 


Follow the band on Facebook! Zylum



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Words That Burn – Regret Is For The Dead 



Louth based Words That Burn are a band I have followed for three years now. I first saw them at Vantastival in 2014 and was very impressed by them. They had an EP out called Praey and then released a single/video Before The Fall. All of which was very good, but with this album to say they stepped it up would be a massive understatement! Nothing prepared me for this! 
This is the sound of  a band that have come of age and although this is the start of the review, I have to say this is one of the best releases of 2016 hands down! Maybe one of the best albums ever released by an Irish Band. 
So for those of a short attention span, you already know the craic here! But sure hang around anyway I keep these very brief.. 
The album kicks off with what is set to become a clear live favourite in “Our New Sin”. A chant chorus of “Fuck Your Beliefs!” “Fuck Your Religion” will undoubtedly get a crowd going. For Wedding, Christening or Bar Mitzvah bookings please contact the band direct! 
Next up is lead Single “Unalive” which like the rest of the album is full of dynamics and changes gears more time than a formula one car driver. It goes up and down in tone and tempo suitably throughout. On paper all these time changes shouldn’t work, but byjaysus they really work here! 
Next up is “Disappear” which starts off very mellow and builds throughout and then finishes up with Roni screaming “I want to scream!” (Irony) and then suitably drops back down the gears again. 
“Chalklines” then comes in a kicks you right in the Bollocks and holds you like that drunk relative at a family get-together that just won’t fuck off… 
“Hush” is probably the most mellow track in the album in many regards,  full of  amazing harmonic/haunting vocals. It’s a fucking great song!! 
 Scars, Mirror Perfect Mannequin, In This Moment and The Phoenix all follow the same formula of a perfect mix of harmony, time changes, and heaviness. 
Then we reach track number 10 and album closer “Last Breath”, and man this is an incredible way to end this absolute masterpiece of an album. It’s so fucking good! If I ever get married? This song shall be the first dance. “I fucking love to hate you”, “I want to feel your last breath!” How would my potential other half feel about this? Well. if she was marrying me she is bound to have a sense of humour and laugh about it all. If she didn’t the crushing realism of the fact she is now stuck with a long haired bum that earns minimum wage, plays computer games, listens to music and probably can’t get it up or fall asleep on the job. It would be either that or serious medication…. 
Anyway, lets wrap this up! This is one of the best albums I’ve heard full stop! It’s full of dynamics and every song is a journey. The more you listen to it, the better it gets! Every repeat listen opens another door and you appreciate each song more than you did on the previous listen. 
Do whatever you have to do to listen to this album! It’s on Itunes and all other mediums. If you’re low on cash. Stick yourself in an ice bath and get a kidney out and sold… If you’re not that adventurous? Just head over to Bandcamp or Spotify and stream it for free. Probably a better idea really! 
Words That Burn, I commend you! 

Check out their lead single Unalive here! 


Words That Burn are:
Roni Macruairi – Vocals & Guitar
Shane Martin – Guitars
Ger Murphy – Bass & Backing Vocals
Jason Christy – Drums

Produced, Recorded and Mixed and by Jonathan Mazzeo at MathLab Recording Studio, Montale, Pistoia, Italy
Mastered by Alan Douches at West West Side Music (NY) USA

All songs and Lyrics written by Macruairi / Martin / Murphy / Christy
Arranged and performed by Words That Burn

Follow The Band on Facebook! Words That Burn



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Why Metal Music Is On The Rise!

Why Metal Music Is On The Rise 


The Underground 

First and foremost has to be the rise of the underground in recent years. The spirit now seems to be stronger than ever! Look at the Bloodstock Metal To The Masses competition. That’s filling venues all over the UK and Ireland now and all the bands performing have to be Unsigned to enter! I follow Simon Hall online and if you believe the Underground is dead? Look at the pictures he posts. I’m talking 300+ venues packed to the rafters! 
Look at Siege Of Limerick here! All underground acts and getting massive crowds twice a year… 
The underground was always about it’s us versus the world and it’s grows daily! 
As of writing this, Irish band Words That Burn released their new album “Regret Is For The Dead” yesterday and it currently lies 1st in the Itunes rock chart and main chart. So if anyone says it’s dead? They’re wrong! As we say around here, “Dead Me Hole!”




Metal Is Now Getting Mainstream Promotion

This is really growing! Before anyone questions this. I work in a cinema, an avid video game fan (when I get time…) and of course a music fan. Metal music is now in many films, games and TV shows. It’s more common than you could believe! The new Angry Birds film was recently released and at the start of the film they’re showing why “Red” is so angry and the song playing over it all is Black Sabbath Paranoid! Yeah! The start of the film aimed at kids has a classic metal song played in almost entirety! 
We have a kids club in the morning with a reduced rate and as I pass the screens I can hear System Of A Down blasting! That’s at 1PM and part of the trailer for “Secret Life Of Pets”. Yeah! That’s introducing kids 10- to Metal music. 
So the next time someone says it’s not getting any coverage and kids aren’t hearing it? Tell them, “Shut Up! You’re out of touch and have no idea what you’re talking about!” 
Here’s an edited part of the actual trailer that MILLIONS of kids have now watched! 



This is without question! The whole scene has changed over the past few years in every regard. Once upon a time metal fans were easily spotted. We all had long hair, wore the patch jackets, band t-shirts etc. Not now! I have met many many young people over the past 18 months and you would never guess they were fans of heavy music. Just because someone doesn’t look a certain way, doesn’t mean they aren’t fans! 
The same can be said for the music itself. I could start listing Genres here but where would I stop and end? A lot of the newer stuff mightn’t sit well with older fans. But! Remember the Nu Metal era? That opened doors for kids to discover heavy music. More commercial bands planted the seed for them to go and start checking out the rest. That is now happening again and the kids are jumping onboard everywhere. 
They are not obvious, but a bunch of kids here in Roscommon gathered 74 names for me to bring to the local youth centre which holds all sorts of musical events to hopefully bring Metal bands to Roscommon after the Summer holidays. That’s in Roscommon Town! How many fans are in bigger towns? Not one of these kids looked like metal fans either! Things have changed… 

There’s also many other factors that don’t need a separate piece such as Easy Access to Music. Something that held bands back in the past! 
Bands such as Mastodon, Lamb Of God and Ghost have played huge American TV shows such as Kimmel in recent years. 
People within the scene are more active than ever! Look at what H at DME Promotions is doing now. It’s just getting bigger and better all the time. The Siege is constantly growing. Metal To The Masses is constantly expanding. I could go on… 

In closing! It’s now a very exciting time going forward for metal. Yes, we are still in transition in many regards but the rise has begun! I really feel the genre is on the cusp of becoming bigger than it ever has at any period throughout history. Kids films with metal music. Video games. Adult films. Sports shows (How many times have you heard “Drowning Pool – Bodies” played at such events?) and it continues to grow! 
The time is not now, but it is coming! 



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