CELTACHOR - In the Halls of our Ancient Fathers demo
Genre: Celtic Black Metal
All I can say is more tin whistle. In the realm of black metal, circa 2011, anything different that can help you stand out from the traditional crowd is worthy of remembrance. This Irish band has all the chops that others do. The vocals by Steven Roche come across as harsh and angry. David Quinn's guitar sound is at certain times filthy and electric like a fuse box overloading with sparks flying in all directions. The song structures come across influenced by NWOBHM with catchy stick in your head melodies. Finally all of this is then fed through the blackened folk grinder. With all of that as a foundation it's fairly decent. But CELTACHOR adds a surprise to the mix and that's the singer, Steven Roche, use of the tin whistle on certain cuts which adds the secret ingredient.
After the obligatory ambient instro opening, "Nemed's Wake", the band kicks in with the rousing "Rise of Lugh". It's the addition of the tin whistle solos that turns CELTACHOR into an Irish version of BATHORY. Give Quinn credit for recreating that first wave black metal guitar tone which is sorely missed by yours truly. It also helps when your songs deal in mythology and folklore which takes you into another plane of existence. Unfortunately the momentum from that one cut doesn't keep building as the release progresses on. The songs that follow are all good on the surface, "A Warning to Balor" being absolutely exceptional. But there's something missing which could make this epic instead of merely decent.
Of course the thing to remember is that In the Halls of our Ancient Fathers is still a demo. Now if you're into the raw sound then this is alright by those standards. But if you listen to a cut like "Riders of the Fomor", the hints at grand fuckin epic quality are there plus I bet they blow audiences away when they play it live. "The Sons of Tuireann and the Blood Fine" also has a great melodic folk quality to it until the black metal breakdown in it's middle section of course. I've never heard demos by PRIMORDIAL or TYR but I would guess they would be of this quality and now look at them. Therefore I won't be surprised to see this band's name at the top of the bill in the near future.