Aeterum Vale – Ashes Of Memory EP Review

Aeterum Vale – Ashes Of Memory EP Review



Dublin based Aeternum Vale never sent us on their EP for review. I had to go Spotify like a Peasant and listen to it there.  I thought the whole point of starting a metal site was getting loads of music for free? 

Luckily this is a great EP so I’ll accept this and make an exception and review it this time! 😉 

The EP consists of four tracks. All of which have the bands own style of a mix of heaviness, melody and atmosphere. All that makes a great Black metal release in my humble opinion. Every song just knows when it needs to shift though the gears. Well, to my ears anyway!

As I already mentioned this EP is on Spotify. I’ll post a link below and the EP title track “Ashes Of Memory”.

The EP kicks off with “Shadows Over Sculpted Stone” and what a way to kick this off. Builds up perfectly and kicks off moving through the gears effortlessly throughout. Excellent song!

“Revolt Of The Gods” is a bit flatter after the opener, but it’s also a really good song. It’s the weakest track on the EP. That’s not a negative! That’s saying how good this EP is when you’re calling a really good Black metal song weaker… 

“In Silence Triumphs Burn” then really kicks off. If someone listening was facing a mid EP lull? This would wake them up! It keeps a faster theme throughout and flies along at devastating Black metal speed! Baywatch! 

This release finishes up with my favourite track on the EP, “Ashes Of Memory”. It’s just a great Melodic Black metal track. I’ve listened to it numerous times and it’s not getting old. Great, great song!

Aeternum Vale are among the Best black metal bands this country has produced in the last few years. This release only emphasises the fact!  



Check out “Ashes Of Memory”! 


Aeternum Vale are: 

Vocals — Colin Byrne  

Guitar — Dave Gibson  

Guitar — Cathal Hughes

Bass — Cory Annatar

Drums — Dave ‘Atlas’ Mc Carron


Link to their Facebook page for more details:

Stream via Spotify:



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Graveyard Dirt To Play Live!

Graveyard Dirt To Play Live!


Formed back in 1994/95.Inspired by the early Peaceville doom/death sound ,in the Summer of ’95 the band ventured into the studio and just 7 hours later emerged with their debut demo. Entitled “ Of Romance & Fire” , it contained 3 tracks , and went on to sell over 700 copies at the time and many more since including a limited re-issue on c.d. in 2007, and reached far-flung places such as Australia ,Japan ,Malaysia ,Argentina as well as most European territories , Germany and U.K in particular through respected distro ‘Black Tears’.

This demo was responsible for the band signing a 2 album deal with German label Ars Metalli which for various reasons never materialised. And with things grinding to a halt the decision was made to lay the band to rest .

However eventually the urge to record again returned and in August 2007 “Shadows of Old Ghosts” was released. Featuring 3 tracks spanning 34 minutes, this E.P sold well and was responsible for securing a 1 album deal with the German underground label Ashen Productions in 2009/2010. In June 2010 the band recorded their debut album entitled “For Grace or Damnation” which was released in Nov 2010 and has since become Ashen Productions biggest selling release, perhaps due to the many excellent reviews it has received in printed magazines and online webzines alike.

The band then went back into hibernation mode again due to some “musical difference” issues which saw 2 members leave before one returned to the fold for the bands most recent trip to the studio for the 2015 3 track EP “ The Siren’s Refrain”, recorded once again in Trackmix Studio in Dublin.

With great surprise it was recently announced they would be headlining Walpurgis Night VI on April 30th, Kelly’s Bar, Galway. They were approached about playing the event by Hexen Haus Promotions. As they had not played Galway, accepted their offer. Sending the Irish metal world into both a state of shock and excitement. 

I reached out to the lads as to what their future plans may be. At the moment, this is a one off! They have no plans to play live again so I would strongly suggest anyone interested make their way to Galway on April 30th. 

If this goes well and it doesn’t interfere with their writing process? They may play another show. But I wouldn’t hold my breath on that, as they are a self described studio project and not about playing live.

Check out “Her Haunting Smile” from “The Siren’s Refrain”.  


Graveyard Dirt are: 
Kieran O’Toole – Guitars
Gary Sweeney – Drums
Tony Barr – Bass
Paul Leyden – Vocals


Link to their Facebook page for more details:


Joining them on the day: TOME, Owlcrusher, Genuflection, Ten Ton Slug, Soothsayer, Weeping Ulcer, So Much For The Sun and Stonecarver. 



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Urban Assault Festival Feature

Urban Assault Festival Feature



The first “Urban Assault” festival is due to take place in Cork next weekend. For a start up festival, it’s an excellent line up and a great marker for the people behind it to work from! 

Pethrophile Promotions and John from Irish Metal Archive are the festivals promotions team. With help from Trevor of the Cranium Titanium Metal Radio Show. 

It promises to be a great day and will hopefully become a big success. We have included all the acts performing here. No bios included. This is for people unable to attend that may not know these bands for whatever reason. All are worth your time! 


Progressive Sludge from Clonmel, co. Tipperary. 


Christ Agony 

Black/Death/Doom metal from Poland. 


Stereo Nasty 

Classic Metal from Kildare. 



Atmospheric metal from Cork.



Aeternum Vale 

Melodic Black metal from Dublin. 



Modern Metal from Dublin. 



Progressive metal/hardcore from Cork. 


Axial Symmetry 

Black/Death metal from Dublin. 


The Magnapinna 

Alternative metal from another planet quite possibly! 🙂 



Doom Metal from Tipperary. 



Black metal from Cork. 


Running Order on the day. 

14:00 – 14:30 Dementer
14:45 – 15:15 Axial Symmetry
15:30 – 16:00 The Magnapinna
16:15 – 16:50 Brigantia

17:10 – 17:55 Emigra
18:10 – 18:50 Aeternum Vale
19:05 – 19:45 Soothsayer
20:00 – 20:40 AeSect

21:00 – 22:00 Stereo Nasty
22:15 – 23:30 Christ Agony
23:45 – 01:00 Zhora

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The Vicious Head Society – Abject Tomorrow LP Review

The Vicious Head Society – Abject Tomorrow LP Review



The Vicious Head Society, the brainchild of Irish guitar virtuoso Graham Keane.  “Abject Tomorrow” shall be released on 24th March 2017. Featuring guests such as keyboardist Derek Sherinan of “Alice Cooper” fame, bass player Pat Byrne also of Hedfuzy, and drummer Kevin Talley.  Abject Tomorrow is sure to please the ears of progressive metal fans and most metal fans in general. 

The vast majority of the album was recorded in Keane’s home studio with vocals, drums and other guest musicians being outsourced to their own recording facilities. The album was then mixed and mastered at Dark House Estudios in Mexico. 

As with most progressive records Abject Tomorrow is no different in the sense that it is a concept album. The story is based in a dystopian future in which all humans are required to have emotion inhibiting implants implanted from birth. One man’s implant fails and it chronicles his journey of discovery and reconnection with his humanity. Musically, it draws from a huge range of influences; from classic prog acts that influenced Keane growing up, such as Yes, Genesis, ELP and Rush to metal acts such as Death, Meshuggah and Megadeth. 

After many years of production. The finished product is complete! So, is it any good? This isn’t good. This is a masterpiece! An absolute musical masterpiece! It’s hard to describe as there’s so much going on in this album. But take all your favourite Prog albums. Opeth and other great progressive metal bands. Put them all in a blender and out this comes. It’s that good! 

The album has so many layers and different tones as any concept album should. It’s a musical journey start to finish. I don’t “smoke” anymore, but if I did? I’d be unemployed as I’d just have this album on constantly and forget to go to work… 

The album kicks off with “The Sycophants” which is pure prog magic. Then leads into the albums title track “Abject Tomorrow”, which I shall link below as it’s freely available online for quite a while now. Then we have “Downfall” which is another prog masterpiece with gutter vocals in there and closes in a sea of violins. “Agenda” is 10:51 long and man, it’s just unstoppable. You’d ignore important phones calls while it’s playing as it’s such a journey musically. 

The album follows on with “The 11th Hour”, followed by a purely instrumental track in “Psychedelic Torture Trip”. “Gods Of The New Age” is the albums penultimate track and another blinder. We then reach the albums closing track “Analogue Spectre”. All I can say about that song is wow. Just wow! An insanely good way to close this absolute masterpiece of an album! 

I calling it right now. This is my album of the year! Nothing will touch this for me personally in 2017. There’ll be other albums I’d really like of course, but this is just another level! It’s easily one of the best albums ever made by an Irish act. Hands down! It won’t appeal to everyone of course due to the albums length and the fact it’s a concept album. But, those who get it will love this album and shall play it on a regular basis and every time it will get better. It’s that good! 


Check out the albums Title track “Abject Tomorrow” here! 


1. The Sycophants
2. Abject Tomorrow
3. Downfall
4. Agenda
5. The 11th Hour
6. Psychedelic Torture Trip
7. Gods Of The New Age
8. Analogue Spectre


Link to their Facebook page for more info and how to pre-order “Abject Tomorrow”



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Xerath Call It A Day and Release New Song “Regret”



UK/Ireland based progressive Orchestral Groove Metal band Xerath have sadly called it a day after nine years. As a big fan of the band this is very sad news. The made made this statement today and released an new unreleased track “Regret”. Fitting last song from them… 


ANNOUNCEMENT. It is with extremely heavy hearts that we formally announce Xerath has come to an end. There are many reasons we came to this decision but ultimately it is
down to creative differences within the band. Xerath has been a huge part of our lives over the last 9 years, and the time has come to move on to other creative ventures.

Of course we would firstly like to thank our passionate fans for believing in what we did. We’re sorry we were not able to visit many of you during our touring cycles, but similarly to a lot of bands the oppourtunities never arose despite our best efforts. We would also like to thank the metal press for the great reviews and features you gave us since our very first interview in Kerrang! back in 2009, and not forgetting the publications that continued to hate on our music which only served to spur us on further.
Special thanks to those close to Xerath personally who encouraged and helped us grow as a band over our 9 year
existence. We couldn’t have survived this long without you.

So this is farewell from Xerath but we all continue to pursue different musical projects and endeavours which
we will keep you updated with. As a parting gift, we present the song “Regret”, our last recording together as a
band. Please enjoy and thank you all once again.


Check out “Regret” here! 


Best of luck to the lads. They’ve given us three great albums in Xerath, Xerath 2 and Xerath 3. 4 was shaping up to be another masterpiece… I’ll continue to wear my Xerath hooded top daily and must get another before they disappear….

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Incoming 2017

Incoming 2017


2016 was without doubt a great year for Irish metal. So many great releases throughout the year and 2017 is going to continue that trend! 

In this piece we have gathered all the bands that have recorded material planned or confirmed as of now that we are aware of. The descriptions shall be brief and a link to recorded music/demos added. A great selection of quality Irish music here! Which all deserve your time. 


The Vicious Head Society

The Vicious Head Society is the brainchild of one man. Mr Graham Keane. He has spent quite a few years putting this release together and it is going to have being worth the effort on his part. Anyone who has heard the finished product speaks very highly of it. It’s probably my most anticipated release of 2017. Anything I’ve heard is incredible. It is due for release on March 24th. 

Check out the albums title track “Abject Tomorrow”!


Link to their Facebook page for more details:



Dublin based Jenova have spent the past year gigging relentlessly and building a strong reputation in the process. They have already played some high end support slots and appeared on the last instalment of “Siege of Limerick”. Not bad considering they are only around just over a year! The lads are currently recording their debut EP and plan to continue along the same lines in 2017. I expect big things for this band. They have all the tools! 

Check out their debut single “Nail The Eye”! 

Link to Facebook page for more details:



A few years ago. Warpath were playing Wacken/Bloodstock and looked like our next really big band. They have built a strong foundation and highly regarded nationally and internationally, so the release of their forthcoming EP “The Ambience Of War” should hopefully see them get all their momentum back. They have experience to back them up this time. So hopefully they will break down the wall this time and reach their potential.

Check out their promo video for “Ambience Of War”!


Link to their Facebook page for more details:



Clonmel based zhOra were due to release their album “Ethos, Pathos, Logos” last year. As we recently discovered, Richie has had to leave the band for health reasons and replaced by Alan Hanlon on Bass duties. A fine replacement no doubt! It is now obvious why everything in camp zhOra went on hold though… They coming back in 2017 and coming back hard! Easily one of our best bands and hopefully 2017 will see them go even further. 

Check out their first single from Ethos, Pathos, Logos “The Breach”! 

Link to their Facebook page for more details:



Derry based ProXist have scheduled their long awaited album “Join You In The Sun” for this year. It has been a while coming, but life can slow down things. Especially as a heavy band based in Ireland… It’s on the way though and will no doubt exceed expectations upon release. They are amazing live so lets hope they have a right crack at it yet! 

Check out “Synthetic Creation”!


Link to their Facebook page for more details:


The Crawling 

Lisburn based The Crawling has scheduled the release of their debut album “Anatomy Of Loss” for April 7th. It’s sure to be one of the better Death metal release of 2017 and will undoubtedly see their profile rise in a big way! I’ve been following them for close to a year now and their output while evolving, is constantly improving. Very much looking forward to this one!

Check out their album promo fro “Anatomy Of Loss”!


Link to their Facebook page for more details:


Between The Lines 

Galway based Between The Lines have now completed work on their forthcoming self titled debut album. It has been a while coming and the band have had many hold ups over the past couple of years. 2017 shall see that all change though as they are preparing to have a right go at it! Great band that all finally coming back to remind us why they were so highly thought of… 

Check out their Demo of “Rumour”! (This is not the finalised album mix) 

Link to their Facebook page for more details:


Na Cruithne 

Galway based Na Cruithne’s new album “Gairm an Fhiantais” is now in its final stages of production and full release details should be announced soon. Without doubt one of our better Folk Metal bands and already have quite a following internationally. 2017 should see them make further strides both nationally and internationally. 

Check out their promo for “Gairm an Fhiantais”! 

Link to their Facebook page for more details:


Two Tales Of Woe

Dublin based Two Tales Of Woe had planned to release an EP this year. Such is the creativity in the camp that has now morphed into a full album release. Which is good news for everyone as they are easily one of the best bands in the Irish scene at present. I would consider the in the same league as Crowbar myself. Which is quite the compliment! Very much looking forward to this one. 

Check out “Burning Lands”! 

Link to their Facebook page for more details:


Lock Horns 

Belfast based Lock Horns were due to release their debut album at the end of 2016. It didn’t materialise in the end but they are constantly building momentum and a band I’m following with great interest. They describe themselves as progressive metal. They have their own sound for sure! One to watch this year! 

Check out “Wendigo”! 

Link to their Facebook page for more details:


Eternal Helcaraxe 

Cavan based Eternal Helcaraxe are without doubt one of Ireland’s finest Black metal bands. News they were in the studio last year and preparing new material for release in 2017 was greeted with great joy. It has been a while since their last release and this will no doubt blow us all away once more. An amazing live act and constantly better their previous works so expect this one to be one of the best releases of 2017!

Check out “Flames In The Darkness (2013)”!


Link to their Facebook page for more details:


Blood Thread 

I’m cheating here slightly as this band are based in Glasgow, Scotland. The bands guitarist is from Sligo so I’m including them for that reason. This band have changed a lot over the past couple of years. An almost entirely new line up and now a full on Death metal band. The changes made were all good and their new material shall be their strongest work to date! An EP I’m looking forward to hearing. 

Check out their previous EP “The Tolerance Is Over”! 

Link to their Facebook page for more details:


Sixth Extinction 

Clonmel based Sixth Extinction made great strides in 2016. They left their old death metal of style behind and moved in a more groove metal style. It was the correct choice as the band have evolved a lot in that time and now a serious proposition instead of another death metal band. Their latest release “Vivid Black” only showcases their improvement in 2016. More material is on the way and I expect them to improve with each release. Very good band! 

Check out “Vivid Black”! 

Link to their Facebook page for more details:



Atmospheric black metal and dungeon synth music from Cork, Ireland. Also a one man project! One that I’m very impressed with and very much looking forward to the planned album. Darragh from Horrenda will be involved in this album so signs are this will be a great release when it reaches fruition. Black metal fans should keep an eye on this project for sure! 

Check out “Breathe”! 

Link to their Facebook page for more details:


Unkindness Of Ravens 

Midlands based Unkindness Of Ravens have scheduled their new album ‘The Perfect Dark’ for release on February 24th 2017. It’s very hard to describe this bands sound, so thankfully I have a link to one of their previous works here! They mix a lot of different aspects in their music and are very different to most bands in the Irish scene. They are constantly growing so I can imagine “The Perfect Dark” shall see them develop further both musically and in popularity. 

Check out “Leanan Sídhe”! 

Link to their Facebook page for more details:


Call To Arms 

Dublin based Call To Arms are in for a big year in their development. Their latest track “The Reaper Never Sleeps” was a serious statement of intent. A massive improvement from their previous recorded material. The band have been building away over the past few years and now maturing into a very good band. With more recorded material on the horizon. The future is bright for these lads! 

Check out “The Reaper Never Sleeps” 

Link to their Facebook page for more details:



Dublin based Horrenda play dirty old school black metal. It reminds me of something released in Norway in the early 90s. The band started as a one man project and has now evolved into a full band. They are gigging relentlessly and plan to release their debut EP this year. Fans of old school black metal will live this for sure! 

Check out “EYE (Live)” 

Link to their Facebook page for more details:


The Devil Wants Her Swagger Back

Dublin based The Devil Wants Her Swagger Back shall be releasing their second EP in as many years. The plan was to make a two part EP with the second coming in 2017. An interesting concept and one I think bands should look at. Rather than pour all their time into an album and get one years publicity, this way they are guaranteed media etc exposure twice basically. Their previous EP “Malice” was excellent, so I expect this EP to be even better and really send them up a level. A young band with a lot of hunger and desire. One to watch! 

Check out “Casualties”! 

Link to their Facebook page for more details:



Naddred feature members of Eternal Helcaraxe and Sol Axis. They formed in 2016 and are now working on their debut release with Invictus Productions. As you can imagine they mix death/black metal with a very dark tone and atmosphere throughout. Their first single “Slaugh” is excellent and this is a release I’m very much looking forward to. Considering the experience and quality of the bands members I can only see this being one of the best releases of 2017 in this particular genre.

Check out “Slaugh”!

  Link to their Facebook page for more details:


Iona Death Cult 

Dublin based Iona Death Cult are a band still very much in their infancy. They have an EP planned for 2017 and working away all the time on new ideas etc. They play instrumental stoner style groove metal and considering their development in a short space of time. I’m looking forward to their EP and other updates over the next twelve months. 

Check out their their demo “New Song”! 

Link to their Facebook page for more details:


Stitch Jones 

Dublin based two piece Stitch Jones are more alternative than metal I suppose, but they usually play on metal bills and I would compare them to Primus loosely. They are an excellent band and a fantastic live act. They have a new album coming out this spring and one I’m very much looking forward to. 

Check out “Suppose I had It Coming”! 

Link to their Facebook page for more details:


Dirty Casuals 

Clonmel based Dirty Casuals are a very new band. They were an instrumental groove metal band and recently added a vocalist to their ranks. I’ve heard a few very rough practice room demos and they remind me of Raging Speedhorn. Which is a compliment from me!! They have that groove style in their playing and heavy vocals. Anything I’ve heard is sounding really good so I’m very much looking forward to seeing how this band progress. 

Check out “Urge Peak”! (This is a very early demo) 

Link to their Facebook page for more details:



Dublin based Thrash band Animator are in for a big year. Already confirmed as a headline act for the Heavy Scotland warm up shows and many appearances around Ireland already confirmed. Their new EP “The Vermin Within” shall be along shortly and they have already released a new single “Sticks and Stones” to build towards the release.

Check out “Sticks and Stones”!

Link to their Facebook page for more details:


The Highrise Project 

The Highrise Project is a two piece progressive metal project featuring Darragh Mooney and Anthony O’Reilly previously of Awaken Dominion. The lads are doing all instruments and vocals with a plan to have their debut album ready for release this year. The lads recently released a playthrough video of their track “Equations” and it’s sounding really good. The lads are excellent musicians so I have no doubt this this album will be of the highest quality when released.

Check out “Equations”!


Link to their Facebook page for more details:


Apostate Viaticum 

Dublin based Apostate Viaticum play old school death/thrash metal and largely consist of members of “Morphosis”. All members are veteran musicians and their debut album “Before the Gates of Gomorrah” is released via Invictus Productions on March 13th. This promises to be a top class old school death metal release! 

Check out “In The Shadow Of The Monolith”! 

Link to their Facebook page for more details:


Stereo Nasty 

Kildare based Stereo Nasty play old school heavy metal that has a real 80’s feel throughout. It’s the kind of music you’d expect to be listening to while driving over Hare Krishna’s in Vice City or Randy “The Ram” Robinson listening to in a bar somewhere. It’s really good though! Music you just can’t help rocking out to. Something a lot of bands forget now. They are due to go into the studio in the first half of 2017 so their next album should be out later this year. 

Check out “Black Widow”! 

Link to their Facebook page for more details:


Zealot Cult 

Limerick based death metal band Zealot Cult are now in full preparations to start recording their debut album this year. I would compare them to bands such as Obituary. They have that real 90’s Florida Death metal sound. Quite the compliment as I grew up with that in the early 90’s.. No timescale on release but looking likely for 2017 all going well. 

Check out “Eternal Winter”! 

Link to their Facebook page for more details:



Causticgod feature members of Okus, Astralnaut and Bad Boat. They have scheduled their album for release this year and it is coming fairly soon. They play Stoner metal with a groove aspect. They have been working on this for a while now and should be a one of the better releases this year in that particular genre.

Check out “The Grail”!


Link to their Facebook page for more details:



Dublin based Coscradh are a relatively new band and played their first gig just over a year ago. In that time they have signed with Invictus, played Siege of Limerick and released one of the most talked about demo EP’s of 2016. Their next release is due in March and should undoubtedly send them up a level.

Check out “Buried”!


Link to their Facebook page for more details:



GOURD feature member’s of “On Pain of Death” and “Wreck of the Hesperus”. They play Drone/Doom/Noise. It’s very atmospheric with many samples. They released their debut EP last year and have more plans going forward. One of to watch if this style of music floats your boat! 

Check out “That Despicable Thing, The Human Heart II”! 

Link to their Facebook page for more details:



 Limerick based Abzurder formed last year and have came a long way in that time. They mix Thrash and old school metal. There’s a real Thin Lizzy vibe in there too. Interesting to see what this band will do next. 

Check out their Demo “Young and Dangerous”!

Link to their Facebook page for more details:


Third Island

Limerick based Third Island are what I would describe as an experimental doom act with progressive elements. They released their first EP in 2016 after forming in 2015. New material is the works at resent and as impressed as I was with their previous release, I can see this band taking amajor step up in 2017. 

Check out “Come Now”! 

Link to their Facebook page for more details:




That concludes our list of Irish bands that have confirmed or planned releases for 2017. If there’s any I may have missed or unaware of please let me know. I shall happily add them to this piece no problem at all. 

It’s going to be another stellar year for Irish metal. We really have some incredible talent here and there’s many that released new material in 2016 not included. Mind blowing really if you consider how small this little island of ours is…


















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