Do you know: CRUACHAN Posted: 13/06/2019 by Philip Morrissey

For those of you who know, Saturday marks the debut of Metal United Worldwide in Cork. For anyone unaware, this is an event which takes place around the globe on the very same day. Gigs are being hosted in various countries including Australia, Thailand, Brazil, USA, Indonesia, Poland, Albania, Mexico, China, Germany and many more.

The Irish of this event is due to take place in Cyprus Avenue on Saturday 15th from 1PM on-wards. It is scheduled to be a huge show with many different bands performing at it. Some may be familiar to you. Some may not. Here is an introduction to the many bands due to lineup.

It should be expected that most fans will know who Cruachan are. They are pretty much an institution on the scene here. Their powerful blend of heavy metal and traditional instruments helped make them a name across the world. Playing at some of the biggest festivals in Europe has almost become a regular occurrence for them. Wherever they are, the flag for Ireland is flown high. Keith Fay gave me the lowdown for those not in the know.

Starting off around the same time as Waylander and Primordial, they have seen it all. The band came together via the efforts of Fay. The band has incorporated black metal and more conventional heavy metal into their repartee during the years but have always blended it with traditional instrumentation. Fay had played with a few other bands in the early nineties but decided to strike off on his own path to make music based on the such themes. He wrote their debut album when he was a mere slip of a lad at fifteen before it eventually came to light. The band’s name came from Des Kelly Carpets. Or the ancient site of Rathcroghan. One or the other.

Many highs and some lows have been experienced by the band in the time since then. Band members have come and gone. The power of the music remained though. They managed the rare feat for a metal band in Ireland of having a hit with their version of ‘Ride On’.

The band were heavily influenced by Horslips and Skyclad to set up a band in this style to begin with. Fay put forward an interesting artist he is inspired by at the moment. “I listen to a lot of classical music, and contemporary composers such as Ludovico Einaudi – I’m obsessed with his work at the moment.” Said composer also ranks highly on the bands they would most wish to play with in the future.

They have played many huge shows across the world so it was a difficult choice to select his favourite. He went with two in particular. “It’ll be hard to top 70000 tons of metal, there’s just something about playing a metal fest on a cruise ship in the Carribbean. Hellfest was also pretty amazing.”

Folk metal may be somewhat unfashionable here compared that of mainland Europe. He is convinced of the rude health of the genre though. “I think folk metal is in great shape. The big bands are still the big bands, there’s a steady
stream of new bands always coming through and then there’s us plugging somewhere in the middle haha.”
Changes you have noticed in the Irish scene since the early days?

They have many changes occur in the scene compared to when they were embarking on their journey. “Really obvious things I guess, the quality and amount of output from Irish bands is phenomenal. I know that’s down to the tech available today and the ease of home recording, back in our day you had no choice but to go to a studio of you wanted your music to sound decent.”

Regarding the idea of Metal United, he is impressed. “I think it’s pretty cool. We’ve played some controversial gigs in controversial places over the years and the one thing I try to tell ‘normal’ people is that when it comes to metal, we are all one family. No matter what religion or political
persuasion you are, if you see a metal head you are family.”

They are excited to to check out the other bands playing at the festival “I love checking out bands I haven’t heard before.”

He ended with a cheeky note for the festival organiser when asked what he wishes to plug “I would like to plug vegetarianism for Danny lol”

Cruachan are set to headline from half ten in what promises to be an epic performance. They will be joined on the night by guest vocalist, Nella. She is a singer-songwriter who performed on the World of Warcraft soundtrack, along with her own work.