Cruachan Black Metal / Co. Dublin

Editor Notes:

CRUACHAN hardly need any introduction to fans of Irish Metal. Whether you love or hate their brand of Folk/Pagan Metal, you can’t deny their success within the metal community. Particularly throughout Europe! I was onto Keith a while back about uploading their debut ‘Celtica’ demo from 1994, which he was good enough to allow me do. And as a bonus I’ve included an early rehearsal recording from 1995 of the track ‘Cuchulain (The Hound Of Culann)’. There’s also recording of a very early live gig that the band played in Nancy Spains, Cork back in 1994.

They have a couple of pretty detailed biographies already online which I’ve pilfered and used here…

Biography taken from CRUACHAN official Website and Myspace…

CRUACHAN combine modern rock /metal with traditional Irish music, but there is a lot more to them than just that: elaborate classical pieces, ancient medieval tunes etc. They also use real instruments rather than relying solely on a keyboard or sampler. The use of these instruments also adds an element of curiosity in live shows due to each member’s ability to play a variety of instruments. Some of the traditional instruments they use are: Tin whistle, Irish Flute, Bódhran (an ancient hand-held goatskin drum), Uilleann pipes (or elbow pipes, like the traditional bag pipes, but instead of blowing, a bellows is used to pump air into the bag), Harp, Bouzouki (originally a Greek guitar, it has been adopted into Irish and Scottish music) CRUACHAN ‘s original metal style could have been classed as Black metal, but the band have now opened up to other styles of metal and rock, although the black influences are still evident and the whole ethos is still there. CRUACHAN consider themselves as modern day bards or storytellers. They tell the old Celtic myths and legends of their proud past like the ancient Fili did before them, or the tales of hardship and rebellion that Ireland endured, through the medium of music.

CRUACHAN were founded in 1992 by Keith Fay, John Fay and John Clohessy. With a love of Celtic music, history and mythology, they sought to incorporate this into their music and lyrics, on a scale that had never been done before. With a line-up playing a variety of Irish traditional and conventional metal instruments they released the “Celtica” demo in 1994, in this year they signed with Nazguls Eyrie Productions from Germany and released their debut album “Tuatha na Gael” in early 1995. The album suffered from poor sound and production as the band were new to studio recording. Regardless, the album became by far the number one seller for the label despite selling out quickly in the few shops it was available in, not being replaced and not being promoted. As a result a lot of people who read the excellent reviews could not get their hands on it. CRUACHAN went into studio again in early 1997 and recorded a four-song promo with a new female folk singer Aisling Hanrahan. The new material was a lot more heavy rock orientated. The promo was for record labels only.




Black Metal, Folk Metal, Pagan Metal

Year Formed




Members (Current)

  • Keith Fay - Vocals, Electric/Acoustic Guitar, Keyboard, Bouzouki, Mandolin, Tin-Whistle, Bodhrán
  • Joe Farrell - Bass (2020-present), Drums, Percussion (2000-2007)
  • David Quinn - Guitar (2020-present)
  • Audrey Trainor - Violin (2020-present)
  • Tom Woodlock - Drums, Percussion (2020-present)

Members (Former)

  • John Ryan - Violin, Tin Whistle, Bouzouki, Mandocello, Banjo, Keyboards, B.Vocals(2004-2020)
  • John Fay - Flute, Whistles, Uilleann pipes, Recorder, Bombard, Keyboards, Percussion (1992-1997, 1999-2002, 2003, 2008-2016)
  • Ed Gilbert - Banjo, Guitars (acoustic), Keyboards, Tin whistle (2001-2003)
  • Rustam Shakirzianov - Bass (2018-2020)
  • Eric Fletcher - Bass (2012-2018)
  • John Clohessy - Bass, Vocals (backing) (1993-1997, 1999-2012)
  • Kieran Ball - Guitars (2012-2020)
  • Jay Brennan - Guitars (1997)
  • Leon Bias - Guitars (acoustic), Bouzouki, Mandolin (1994-1995)
  • Steven Anderson - Guitars, Vocals (1992-1994)
  • Mauro Frison - Drums (2012-2020)
  • Jay O'Neill - Drums, Percussion (1992-1997)
  • Joe Farrell - Drums, Percussion (2000-2007)
  • Colin Purcell - Drums, Percussion (2007-2012)
  • Collete O'Fathaigh - Keyboards (1994-1995)
  • Karen Gilligan - Vocals, Percussion (1999-2008)
  • Aisling Hanrahan - Vocals (1997)