My HeadBangers, I wanted to bring you something different this week.  I started thinking about how I miss my Nordic Folk Metal and while I was digging around I found something very interesting and of course I had to bring it.  Please welcome from Dublin, Ireland the Folk/Celtic/Black metal band:


“The Crow”

You know my love of Ravens and Crows, they’re the messengers.  Listen to this band and tell me you don’t hear a little Thrash in there.  I love it and the accent tops it all off.  This is just out 13 days ago.

“Blood for the Blood God”

Let’s look at some bio on this band, I am really loving this music:

This Irish folk metal band from Dublin, Ireland has been around since 1990’s. They have been acclaimed as having “gone the greatest lengths of anyone in their attempts to expand” the genre of folk metal. They are recognized as one of the founders of the folk metal genre. With a specific focus on Celtic music and the use of Celtic mythology in their lyrics, Cruachan’s style of folk metal is called Celtic metal. The band named themselves after the archaeological site of “Rathcroghan” in Ireland also known as Cruachan.

Keith Fay had formed a Tolkien-inspired black metal band named after the city of Minas Tirith in 1991.   Around the same time, he began listening to more folk music and picked up Skyclad debut album The Wayward Sons of Mother Earth. Originally released in 1990, this “ambitious” and “groundbreaking” album made an impact on Fay and he set out to combine black metal with the folk music of Ireland.   In 1992, Keith Fay formed Cruachan with a demo recording distributed in 1993.  Keith Fay also credits the Irish rock band Horslips as a “huge influence on Cruachan,” further noting that “what they were doing in the 70’s is the equivalent of what we do now.”

Keith Fay

The year 1995 saw the release of Cruachan’s debut album Tuatha na Gael, an album that “suffered under poor production.”  On the strength of this album, the band received attention from Century Media Records. The band found it amazing to receive interest from “such a big label” but were dismayed at the terms and conditions of the offered recording deal.  They refused to sign a “very poor contract” that would have given the record label “the rights to change every aspect of our music.” After “lengthy negotiations failed to yield a deal with Century Media Records”, the band disbanded in 1997.

Cruachan reformed in January 1999 and after signing a recording deal with Hammerheart Records, they released the second album The Middle Kingdom in 2000.  By this time, the band had dropped the black metal style in favor of a more traditional metal sound.  They also expanded the roster by inviting guest vocalist Karen Gilligan to be a full-fledged member of the group.  Their subsequent album Folk-Lore was co-produced by Shane MacGowan of The Pogues fame. Shane MacGowan also contributed vocals to two covers of traditional Irish songs, “Spancill Hill” and “Ride On.”  The latter was released as a single and the band experienced a small taste of commercial success when it entered the Irish charts.

In the years that followed, the band had members leave and new ones come as it is with most bands.  This band has so much history, I can’t fit it all in this post.  So I’m jumping ahead to…

The year of 2020 had seen the band experience some notable lineup changes. On 14 January, Cruachan announced that bassist Rustam had departed the band following their performance on 70000 Tons of Metal earlier that month. On 10 February 2020, Cruachan announced that former drummer Joe Farrell would be rejoining the band as Rustam’s replacement on bass. On 8 July the band announced that drummer Mauro Frison was departing the band but not before he would contribute drums to the band’s then upcoming single titled “The Hawthorn”. It was announced later the same month on the 28 July that fiddle player John Ryan and Guitarist Kieran Ball would both be departing the band. During this period, Fay recruited Tom Woodlock on drums, Audrey Trainor on violin and Dave Quinn on guitar.

In early 2020, Cruachan left Trollzorn Records and signed a multi-album deal with Sweden’s largest rock label – Despotz Records. As mentioned, ‘The Hawthorn’ single was released in 2020 and the ninth studio album The Living and the Dead is slated for a late 2022 release.

On October 1st, 2022, Cruachan announced that they had submitted a song for consideration for participation in the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 for the Republic of Ireland.

Let’s meet the band:

Keith Fay – Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards, Bodhrán, Mandolin, Percussion, Bouzouki (1992-Present)

Joe Farrell – Bass (2020-Present), Drums (1999-2007)

Audrey Trainor – Violin (2020-Present)

David Quinn – Guitars (2020-Present)

Tom Woodlock – Drums (2020-Present)

“Queen Of War”

My Thoughts:

Where do I begin my HeadBangers, there’s so much about this band and I have the utmost respect for Keith Fay for not selling out to the record company,  true Irish standing his ground.  As I said this band has so much history and to me there is nothing better than a band with history.  You need to check out Rathcroghan”, I did and it is to be believed to be the first place Halloween took place.  It’s really so interesting.  I can’t say enough about this band, they tour everywhere, please check them out on FB and Instagram, you deff will not be sorry.  I’m adding this band to my list, I love that folk metal and then they blast you.  Damn what more could you ask for.

That’s it for this week, come back next week for another band and another song.  In the meantime don’t stand to close to the fire if you can’t handle the burn….

3 thoughts on “WEEK 194 – CRUACHAN

Add yours

  1. Looks promising. I’m going to listen here at gym. I have all The Pogues albums and a Horslips.

    You might like a band called Suidakra. They have an album called Crogacht, which I have almost surely spelled wrong. It’s about Irish mythology. The song Scathach is so epic I could die.

Please feel free to leave me a comment or question, I appreciate it HeadBangers:

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