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.

2008 – Looking back, 2008 was really the year a lot changed for Primordial. Previously, we had always been a critically acclaimed band, getting good reviews and press with a growing and loyal fan base but without the fanfare afforded other bands.

To The Nameless Dead came out very late in 2007 and by early 2008 the press began to come back and neither we nor Metal Blade had really seen anything like it; we topped the soundchecks in Rock Hard, Legacy and Metal Hammer, getting full mark reviews all across the board in most magazines. Not only in Germany, but all across Europe things began to move and the Summer of 2008 saw us conquering festivals all across Europe and even we could see everything was growing, countries we had never made much of a dent in before like Finland, France, Norway, and Sweden, for example, were becoming new strongholds for the band. To The Nameless Dead quickly outsold 2005’s The Gathering Wilderness and it was obvious to us we had moved out of the underground into the mainstream, or at least we were being feted by the mainstream for the summer of 2008. At this stage in our careers, it was more or less something we took in stride, too long in the tooth to be moved to conceit or false modesty; it felt somehow vindicating that we were finally taking our message to bigger stages and more people without having compromised a thing.

In the winter of 2008, we went out across Europe with Finntroll among others as part of the Heidenfest festival. This was a great success overall and without a shadow of a doubt we won over some new and younger fans. This was the year that the cultural metal zeitgeist was pagan metal and we felt it somewhat our duty to take part at least in one of these tours to show people that there was a darker side to the scene and that we can be considered one of the original bands of the species. Some may have complained we didn’t fit into that scene and to some degree they were right, but a career in music can last a long time, so the chance to reach new people was something we had to do and. No regrets, as usual.

So taking stock after 2008, Primordial reached a new level with To The Nameless Dead after almost two decades of playing music. It may seem strange that a band might reach a new level and seem somehow still new and challenging for a new generation of metal fans and festival goers, but this is exactly what happened. The band, as usual, took it in stride with bemused shoulder shrugging, a sense of ‘we told you so’ and a shot of whiskey for good measure.




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)