Lunar Gate Black Metal / Co. Wicklow

LUNAR GATE are quite a difficult band to pigeon hole. Barely metal, if indeed at all metal for the most part. Ambient, avante-garde, atmospheric and moody with the embers of Doom and Black Metal glowing at it’s heart. But with the sheer ‘metal weight’ of most of the players involved down through the bands history, they certainly deserve their place in the Annals of Irish Metal. The origins of LUNAR GATE can be traced back to an earlier Arklow based Black Metal band called CERNUNNOS for whom Emmett Rees was the main man behind the band. They never made any proper releases, but there were some rehearsal tracks recorded that were very closely circulated. However! Some of the CERNUNNOS material did apparently end up on later LUNAR GATE releases. Emmett also briefly played guitar for the band CROM who also never made any proper releases.

It could be argued that LUNAR GATE was a one man project. Especially for the first two demo tapes ‘A Secret Well Kept’ (1996) and ‘When Light Fades…’ (1998) as Emmett handled everything for the recordings except for some guest appearances on a few of the tracks. Roping in guests for various tracks was a common feature on all LUNAR GATE releases. One such guest was Paul Kearns (FIFTH DOMINION, ARCANE SUN, EDEN OBSCURED, THE PALE FALL, SOLSTICE) who appeared on both these releases as a vocalist. Incidentally! Emmett also played session keyboards for Paul Kearns band ARCANE SUN on their ‘Eden Eclipsed’ demo tape from 1996 and also played a couple of gigs with them on bass guitar.

For the first of three releases in 2001, he enlisted Des Howlin (EDEN OBSCURED, DREAMSFEAR, THE PALE FALL) to perform all drum duties on ‘Theories In A minor’. Colin ‘Necrohammer’ Purcell (CRUACHAN, SOL AXIS, KINGDOM, DREAMSFEAR, EDEN OBSCURED) took over the drum stool before the year was out for ‘The Solitary Path’. There was also the ‘Promo 2001’ CD released that year featuring ‘The Way Of The Hunter’ from ‘The Solitary Path’ and ‘Threads In The Darkness’ from ‘Theories In A minor’. Colin Purcell would remain on drums for the the following years release ‘Latitude’. The final LUNAR GATE release was a  Split 7″ with Irish Doom/Death titans MOURNING BELOVETH which was released through Ireland’s Sentinel Records in 2003. It featured one track from each band for which LUNAR GATE contributed a re-recording of the title track ‘Latitude’ from the the previous year.




Black Metal

Year Formed




Members (Current)

  • Emmett Rees - Vocals/Guitars/ Bass/Keyboards