Waylander Black Metal / Co. Armagh
Biography taken from the ‘OLD’ and ‘NEW’ Official WAYLANDER sites…
“WAYLANDER was formed in 1993 by brothers Cíaran and Dermot O’Hagan. The initial idea was to play Metal in the 80s-style, but by total coincidence, the first song that was written had a distinctive Celtic sound to it, this becoming WAYLANDER ‘s trademark-sound for the future! This first song, ‘Born to the Fight’, is to this day the most requested song by fans at WAYLANDER ‘s gigs. Many members were auditioned over the coming months before the first steady line-up of Cíaran O’Hagan (vocals), Dermot O’Hagan (guitars), Den Ferran (drums) and Jason Barriskill (bass)recorded the debut demo, ‘Once Upon an Era’ in late 1994. Mixing Irish folk music with extreme Metal, Waylander were soon dubbed Folk, Celtic and Pagan Metal and the demo received excellent reviews throughout the worldwide Metal underground scene. This, along with the many live-shows played throughout Ireland, established WAYLANDER as one of the front-runners of the expanding Irish Metal scene.
In late 1995, it became clear that Jason didn’t have the same commitment as the rest of the band, so he was removed and was replaced on bass by Michael Proctor. It was with this line-up that “Dawning of a New Age”, the second demo, was recorded and released in early 1996. The sound on this demo had greatly evolved, helped by the use of the Irish traditional-instrument the tin-whistle and it was obvious that WAYLANDER had created something totally original in a scene which had been overflowed with run-of-the-mill Black Metal and Death Metal bands and WAYLANDER soon gained a prominent position in the fledgling Folk Metal scene.
By this stage WAYLANDER‘s progress had attracted the attention of a variety of labels. This was cemented when in October of 1997 the group signed to the German Century Media label. Recording in Germany under the auspices of HOLY MOSES man Andy Classen, WAYLANDER cut their inaugural album ‘Reawakening Pride Once Lost’. Wishing to bolster their live sound the band subsequently re-admitted second guitarist Peter Boylan.
A label switch, to another German concern Arse Metalli, did not achieve the desired results and when the band entered the recording studio they discovered their new label could not afford to pay for a new album. Fortunately a quick manouevre to the Blackened label maintained momentum. Bo Murphy was enrolled as new drummer for the album ‘The Light , The Dark , And The Endless Knot’. Internal friction would then witness the departure of both Peter Boylan and Bo Murphy. HEXXED guitarist Owen Boden and drummer Nick Shannon filled in. Boden in turn would be replaced by BLACK ART PRINCIPLE man Fearghal Duffy in 2003.
More line-up changes in early 2005 saw original sticksman Denis Ferran re-instated. Guitarist Fearghal Duffy, suffering from tendonitis and arthritis of the hands, was forced out and long term bassist Michael Proctor resigned shortly afterward and Gaz Murdock was duly installed as substitute. However, in May it was announced that Proctor had rejoined. The group organised a brief burst of Irish dates for Latvian act SKYFORGER, after which a second guitarist, Alan Connolly, was enrolled. However, this latest candidate soon abdicated, citing “health reasons”, and former band member Gaz Murdock stepped back into the fold for the band’s ‘Days Of Darkness’ festival appearance.
Other notable shows include Summer Breeze, Hammerfest, Hard Rock Hell, Bloodstock and Ultima Ratio Festival, as well as gigs all over Europe with some of the biggest names in the industry.
In 2008 Waylander signed to Listenable Records and released their acclaimed third album, ‘Honour Amongst Chaos’ and followed this up in 2012 with ‘Kindred Spirits’ both of which received a fantastic reaction worldwide.”
Black Metal, Folk Metal, Pagan Metal
- Ciaran "Ard Chieftain" O'Hagan - Vocals
- Saul McMichael - Guitars
- Tor Dennison - Guitars
- Michael Proctor - Bass
- Den Ferran - Drums
- Dave Briggs - Folk Instruments
- Dermot O'Hagan - Guitars [93-03]
- Owen Boden - Guitars [01-03]
- Kevin Canavan - Guitars 
- Fearghal Duffy - Guitars
- Gareth "Gaz" Murdock - Guitars [05-09]
- Peter Boylan - Guitars [93-94, 99-01]
- Ade Mulgrew - Guitars 
- Baylers ??? - Guitars 
- Hugh O'Neill - Guitars [09-11]
- Máirtín "Fart" Mac Cormaic - Tin-Whistle [96-02]
- Jason Barriskill [R.I.P.] - Bass [93-95]
- Bo Murphy - Drums [00-01]
- Nick Shannon - Drums [02-03]
WAYLANDER hardly need any introduction at this stage. They’ve been slogging it out in the local scene for almost 20 years now and to some degree have influenced almost every Folk/Pagan Metal band that has ever existed! They have only just released their latest offering titled ‘Kindred Spirits’, which is out now on Listenable Records. Probably their most accomplished release to date, it blends folk elements seamlessly with their fierce metal attack. Check out the following track made available through the bands youtube page. Then do the right thing and get your hands on the CD.