Having touched on celtic-hip hop last week I’ve since been looking into the genre of celtic metal which basically combines celtic folk music with heavy metal of course. With Scandinavian heavy metal bands delving back into the history of their respective countries for years now and adding elements to their music it was only a matter of time before bands from the celtic nations started to do the same.
These are my top five celtic metal bands as well as what are considered to be their best albums and where they come from with a wee bit of info added. It’s all my opinion of course and I’d be the first to admit that my knowledge of metal and celtic metal is pretty limited so if you know any others please feel free to leave a comment.
1. Primordial (Redemption at the Puritan’s Hand) Dublin, Ireland
Formed back in 1987 they originally started as a standard metal band but slowly their sound began to become more epic and the use of celtic instruments pushed them into a new sound.
2. Waylander (Kindred Spirits) Armagh, Ireland
Formed in 1993 and dogged by the coming and going of band members over the years and various record label problems but still going strong…
3. Cruachan (Pagan) Dublin, Ireland
Formed in 1992 and originally a band influenced by Vikings and Tolkien they soon evolved into one of the original celtic-metal bands. More information and discography and videos here.
Folklore, Cruachan’s third album was recorded by and features vocals by the legendary Shane McGowan of the Pogues and the single ‘Ride On’ reached number 40 in the Irish charts.
4. Alestorm (Black Sails at Midnight) Perth, Scotland
Formed in 2006 and describing their sound as ‘true Scottish pirate metal’. Two Scots and two Irishmen make up this band of buccaneers so that puts them firmly in the celtic-metal camp! Like all these bands absolutely huge on the continent and getting more and more popular here all the time as well.
5. Mägo de Oz (Gaia) Madrid, Spain
Formed in 1989 they’re well known for the strong celtic feel to their music strengthened through their constant usage of a violinist and flute. The name means ‘Wizard of Oz’ in Spanish!
- For our article on celtic hip-hop go here for ‘Celtic Hip-Hop’s Top Seven Bands And Artists.