It’s St. Patrick’s Day, so rather than bore you with the preachy rant about the horrible shit that St. Patrick actually did and what “driving the snakes from Ireland” means and all that nonsense, I thought I would rather share with you my favourite Irish bands. These are bands you’ve probably never heard of before, and many of them had songs I listened to while writing my debut novel that is partially set in Ireland, MOTHER OF ABOMINATIONS.
So, I’m going to count down to my favourite and suggest some tunes for you. Enjoy!
This band is a question. They are the most well-known band on my list, so I put them first, but you might not know they are from Larne, in Northern Ireland. Therapy? provided some much needed metal in the grunge era. Somewhere between industrial, goth and alternative, they scratch a lot of itches.
This song, “Screamager” comes from their poppiest album, Troublegum, but it might be my favourite Therapy? song. So here it is:
4. God Is An Astronaut
Post rock/electronica is not usually my bag, but I got into these guys because their name comes from Clive Barker’s film, Nightbreed. It’s good writing music and they come from County Wicklow, Ireland!
3. Mael Mordha
Mael Mordha hail from Dublin and, admittedly, take a lot from my number one band. They’re the first band on my list that take traditional Celtic music elements and inject them into their sped-up version of doom metal.
Here’s their song “All Eire Will Quake”:
I listened to a lot of Dublin’s Cruachan while writing the book. There’s a lot of bile and intensity in their brand of folk metal. A lot more Celtic influence in their music as well.
Here’s their intense war cry, “Blood for the Blood God”:
For a good chunk of the band’s existence, they had a second singer, Karen Gilligan, who offered a softer, more melodic side to the band. Here’s “The Fianna”:
Their album Folk-Lore was produced by legendary Irish musician/drunk Shane McGowan who also sang on a couple tunes of theirs. Here’s the best: “Ride On.”
Black/doom/celtic metal band Primordial hail from Skerries in County Dublin, but they often feel like they come from the battlefield. After the battle, mourning their dead, but rejoicing in their victory. Primordial is a band like no other.
Their album The Gathering Wilderness is a current favourite. It’s meaty but subtle. Here’s “Coffin Ships”
The title track from their latest record, Where Greater Men Have Fallen stays away from the local political themes and instead provides a true and enduring reasoning for the abolishment of war.
And finally, they do a killer cover of the traditional Irish song, “Foggy Dew.”
Enjoy your St. Patrick’s Day. Stay safe and come home alive. If not, may you be in Heaven a half hour before the Devil knows you’re dead.