Primordial Black Metal / Co. Dublin

Editor Notes:

PRIMORDIAL is an extreme metal band from Skerries, Co. Dublin. First formed in 1987 by Pól MacAmhlaigh (bass) and Ciarán MacUiliam (guitars), their sound is primarily black metal with notable Celtic and pagan influences.

The band have slogged at it for almost 30 years now and have deservedly built up a vast worldwide fanbase and a solid  reputation for themselves as Ireland’s leading metal export.

1994 – Peaceville weren’t interested… however Jonny from Deaf the Peaceville imprint was and with names like Eucharist, At The Gates and Dissection being thrown around we were more than impressed. The Deaf Metal sampler came out and we were being pencilled in as one of the first bands to be on the Deaf roster. Then nothing? Candlelight called… Necromantic Gallery, Unisound, Hellspawn, more and more really underground labels were contacting us. At this point in time Candlelight seemed to be at the centre of our dealings. We helped organise some shows for then Candlelight bands Decomposed and Korpse hoping Candlelight would come over and sort it all out, they never appeared and neither did the contract. A young Dani Filth had been pestering their fledgling label Cacophonous to sign us, yet they wanted to hear more songs. The answer came in the form of the live tape we recorded that night we played with Decomposed, Korpse and The Fifth Dominion (now Arcane Sun), containing five new tracks that was the tape that got us the deal with Cacophonous Records. And the tape that has been refered to by some people as “An Infernal Summers Night”, although it was never really heavily traded… some people did indeed have it, there was no cover though! In November without any idea of the machinations of recording an album we went into where we recorded our demo, spent a lot of money hiring equipment and desks and this and that, after 12 days we were left with a sub standard album (demo!)… not awful but not fit for release. The saga had just begun.

1995 – We had to wait until May to remix the album. Not knowing our arse from our elbow we had recorded the album on one inch reel tape (which for anyone not familiar with recording, probably the least professional and least used size!) so Nihil and myself from Cacophonous had to haul a one inch reel machine around London and then all the way to Yorkshire… to Dewsbury and Academy to transfer reels and remix “Imrama”. We found channels with nothing on them that should have been drums, things recorded in mono… you get the picture. That “Imrama” is at all listenable is down to Mags at Academy. That was the beginning of a long friendship between the band and him. “Imrama” was remixed in three days and finally released in September of 1995, just shy of one year after it was recorded. That year also saw us play our first gig outside of Ireland at a Devils church festival in London together with Occult, Gomorrah and Bal-Sagoth among others. A very important step for the Irish scene in general, not just the band. Following the release of the CD, without one single interview it sold by all accounts quite well in the not as yet saturated market. Talk of tours with everyone from Gehenna and Bal-Sagoth to Samael and Cradle of Filth went around but nothing transpired. Relationships between us all were very strained and it was four young men very at odds with each other who went over to play with Cradle of Filth and Gorgoroth in late 1995 at the Metal Hammer fourplay night in London at the Astoria 1. 1995 closed out with us just having done our biggest ever gig, the album being received well and the future looking well… well it should have been, instead it closed with tempers fraying and blood boiling…

1996 – Quite easily the worst year for the band, it stands out in my memory as being shockingly bad. Absolutely nothing happened of any note other than one gig in Athy, Co. Kildare in a massive GAA hall with The Fifth Dominion and Thy Sinister Bloom that was stopped halfway through our set. Having a gig stopped by the police, cool eh? It in fact sucked… as did 1996.




Black Metal, Pagan Metal

Year Formed




Members (Current)

  • Nemtheanga - Vocals
  • Ciáran MacUiliam - Guitars
  • Michael O'Floinn - Guitars
  • Pól MacAmlaigh - Bass
  • Simon "Sol Dubh" O'Laoghaire - Drums

Members (Former)

  • Feargal Flannery - Guitars
  • Shaun Cadogan - Guitars (live)
  • Gerry Clince - Guitars (live)
  • Dave McMahon - Bass (live)
  • Dave Murphy - Bass (live)
  • Derek MacAmlaigh - Drums
  • Steve Hughes - Drums (live)
  • Gareth Averill - Drums (live)
  • Cathal Murphy - Drums (live)