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Celtachor / Press

“Their blend of Black Metal and traditional celtic instruments and melodies may not be anything new, but it does carry a sense of authenticity that’s lacking in many releases.The album runs pretty much as you’d expect it to – there are no hidden surprises, but the music is good and that’s the main thing. The Folk Metal on offer here doesn’t feel like a gimmick; it feels honest. It feels natural for this Black Metal to co-exist with Irish whistles, etc. Also, this record takes on a more serious tone than a lot of Folk Metal. I don’t have the urge to get drunk and dance around when listening to Celtachor – instead I have the urge to get drunk and go to war. I’ll dance later… on the graves of my enemies…”

“Ireland has a rich history that you as a metal band can draw from. Stories of bravery that fits perfectly to epic metal battles. Bands like Primordial, Cruachan and Mael Mordha all dig deep into the ancestry to dazzle you with tales of yonder. I like it. I have a penchant for the big, heroic stories found in most ancient tales. Another band that seems to have the same liking is Celtachor. Set against an extreme metal backdrop Celtachor tells a story of men once brave. This is stomp your feet, heave you tankard high and toast the victory metal. Epic metal to me is just this. You should be able to picture the battlefield all gory and bloody when you listen to an epic metal album. I get that listening to “In The Halls Of Our Ancient Fathers””

“In the end, “In the Halls of Our Ancient Fathers” has some solid moments within a rather embryonic status. As I’d said about other bands, both just-starting-out and just-getting-their-chops-tightened, they may have the capacity to move on from their humble roots should they choose to, but only if they’d want to. And if/when they do, I’d like to see…er, hear…it for myself. Still, for a demo, this ain’t half bad. Worth checking out.”

“The music itself, barring the whistles, takes its cues from the sinewy, raw first wave of Norwegian black metal and old-school heavy metal. Guitars are hard rather than heavy and the songs are fairly straight forward in arrangement. The Dubliners obviously take great pride in their historical inheritance as the record references ancient King of the Tuatha De, Nuada; the warrior Lugh; sea pirates the Fomorians, using the conflicts of medieval Ireland folklore as "In The Halls Of Our Ancient Fathers" narrative. Stylistically the record is limited - it's short running time becoming a virtue - but when the songs are good like atmospheric opener 'Nemed's Wake', 'Rise of Lugh' and the clattering riff-heavy closer 'The Wavesweeper' Celtachor sound like a band of definite promise. By developing the moments of originality on this record Celtachor could well step it up a notch on their next release but for the moment this demo is competent rather than captivating.”

“Fresh from extolling the virtues of one Irish band, I now find myself excited by another. This time I’ll put my hands up and admit to not previously knowing of them. Again from Dublin comes Blackened Folk Metal quartet Celtachor these fiery emerald isle denizens have their own savage take on the whole Folk Metal genre. Lyrically, from what I can glean, the band immerses themselves in Celtic myth and mythology, dealing with ancient Irish deities and their legends. It’s intelligently written and performed with aplomb, I suspect the band has been majorly researching ancient Celtic lore, and should be highly commended for this! “In The Halls” is nicely packaged with a well presented cover and inner sleeve, which yet again proves, that even without a label, a demo or promo CAN be presented to a high standard…since congratulations to the lads for realising and acting accordingly. A fine first attempt at an album, Celtachor should be collectively praised for a very worthwhile debut”

"Hard, rough, but playful just as sensitive are the seven songs that are very likely to not only put a spell on me. It was not forgotten to give the disc a real rousing character, still misses the old-fashioned instruments skillfully exactly at the appropriate places and intent to use. But who expects only boring again fiddling and sustained flute melodies lies with Celta choir with this assumption completely wrong. When the Irishman outweigh the hard guitar chords, thunderous drums and harsh scolding the band leader. One should remember the name of this band as a Pagan lover so absolutely. And above all hope that a deal is not the musicians take the hard wind from the sails. Who now wants to get an idea should take advantage of the offer of free downloads and stop by the MySpace page of the band. The musical journey in Irish mythology is worth it! 12/15 "

"At some lone parts it also feels like there are some strange interruptions both in instrumentation and vocal work, these are things I do believe a better production will cure however and in the grand scheme of things they are not that large as I think the album in general is quite good. I would in the end say that this is is a rather good album especially considering it being a demo but also it is good on its own merit. Some things can improve, I have mentioned them in the paragraph above, but all in all I like this release and with more experience under their belts I am sure this band will put out something really interesting.4/7"

"this promising bout of aggression grinds to a near halt as a whistle solo surfaces for a short interlude that feels awkwardly stranded in a veritable sea of deafening aggression. However, 'In The Hall Of Nuada' offers up an altogether smoother intermingling of folk and metal, with airy whistle notes melting gracefully into wave upon wave of bass-driven distortion. While there's doubtless room for development here, these young talents have nevertheless captured all the venom, gloom and menacing presence for which black metal is notorious."

"The Son’s of Tuireann and the blood fine is the pearl of this demo. It starts off calm with whistle melodies and then the guitar joins in. The music, instruments and vocals are unlike other songs on this demo and everything fits together perfectly and shows what the band is capable of. All in all, In the Hall of Our Ancient Fathers is a decent demo. The band needs to continue working and perfect their music. The ground work is laid though and I hope to hear more from this band later on."

"It’s interesting to note that throughout the course of this demo, the songs are narrative verses being performed through frontman Stephen Roche’s rasped growls. Harsh vocals are typically tied in with emotional auras of desolation, anguish and nihilism in extreme metal, yet to combine this medium with lyrics written in the third person means that whatever empathy the listener may feel with the lyrics’ persona gets pushed aside so as not to tarnish too much the epic nature of the band’s source material.At the same time, that the band’s passion for their subject and style of extreme metal runs strong on ‘In the Halls…‘ as their second demo is in itself suggests them to be a more than promising group.6.5/10"

"This celtic journey comes to an end. I hope you were enchanted by this mythical story dominated by Irish powerfull characters: gods, titans, kings, druids, heroes, interacting with war, intrigue, rivers of blood and finally the sweet taste of revenge. Very well chosen source of inspiration for this demo, nice combination of harsh vocals with tin whistle alternating with guitar riffs. As Celtachor are independent label they might need a little help in improving the quality of the songs, but I think for the beginning they manage to sound pretty good. You can download "In the Halls of Our Ancient Fathers" from here: http://www.reverbnation.com/celtachor. Keep supporing this promising pagan metal band, Celtachor! 8/10"

"Like most of the songs on ItHoOAF, Rise of Lugh is a rather long song, spanning up very nearly six minutes in total. But the music doesn’t bore. It just batters and rambles on, determined and fixed on purpose, over peaks and through troughs. Overall, this demo is promising. It’s now important the band picks up on professionalism and pushes recording and mixing quality to the next level. There can be more depth in layering, perhaps an extra guitar line, and some more oomph. However, they should watch not to lose their jagged edge. The rawness matches the Celtic imagery and inspiration and should be employed as a key differentiator"

"I have no doubt that CELTACHOR have the character and the potentials to release good music from this genre that I think has been forgotten by those who think Pagan Metal is only beer drinking songs and mythology inspired catchy melodies. This band will take you back to the roots of this scene and give you a hearty dose of primal Pagan music and let you remember your most powerful war-cry"

"Some more surprising elements and elaborated riffs would have spiced it up as now it lacks to keep your attention for a longer span. Though the concept that they bring sounds quite nice, the band have got some good ideas but will need some work on giving these shape for a next release.“In The Hall’s Of Our Ancient Father’s” is a release that shows a band on the grow. Check back in some time and who knows where they stand by then"

"vocals are not always catchy but apparently because I am sensitive to what is missing and that rhyme. From the same Celtic mythology cites Stephen Roche is the most brutal violence forward. Because of the vocals and the music that comes to the fore. Although it lacks some of the seven songs for variety, I am very charmed and fascinated by the pristine, almost sterile sound that brings out the flute and so much in the folk metal manages to weave. In addition, the theme of my heart, and the artwork is beautiful. Precisely why I Celtachor with confidence recommend to lovers of good Irish metal with the high sensitivity of Irish music through it and may Celtachor spirit away from me in the hall of their ancestors."

"The strong sound from “Rise of Lugh” follows throughout. As you get to the fourth track of the album, “A Warning to Balor,” you are in full swing to the stories they are telling and the music which they are producing. If you aren’t head-banging or stomping your feet to these tunes by now I would be surprised. The guitar work is faultless, the drums keep the pace and beat and the Vocals take me back to the days when I first found a band called Carcass, an English metal band from the mid 80’s. These Irish tellers of great stories evoke the meaning of the Irish tribe again, making their own clan and battling forward taking the Metal scene for themselves. 4/5"

"Celtachor are slowly becoming masters of their trade. “In The Halls Of Our Ancient Ancestors” is a brilliant mixture of Irish sagas, black metal and Celtic influences. If the ancient tribes of Ireland listened to metal, then this would certainly be that they’d approve of. 5/5"

"The sound of Celtachor, is caracterized by their crudity and the simplicity without resorting to major orchestrators, they try to take us to old times, marked by rudeness and not by the mystical festive. Helped by the use of the whistles, intrument that is characteristical from Ireland and don't only help to the ambientation, it brings freshness to counteract the dark and powerful voice of Stephen,The raw and simple sound, evokes much more feelings and sensations and takes you past times with more intensity. The production of this demo tape, could be improved, but it's a demo, so no objection. It's a really good beginning to this Irish people 7/10"

"The demo contains seven tracks and what we hear is Celtic / Folk Metal with strong influences from black and doom. Seven possible mainly tracks cleverly riff, drums that echo like war cries, brutal vocals and folk melodies are the elements that compose it. Their goal was with their music and the atmosphere to transport us back in time and I think they did pretty well. The production is quite good, although I'm not a big fan of folk metal faithful type I will not be disappointed."

"Of course the thing to remember is that In the Halls of our Ancient Fathers is still a demo. Now if you're into the raw sound then this is alright by those standards. But if you listen to a cut like "Riders of the Fomor", the hints at grand fuckin epic quality are there plus I bet they blow audiences away when they play it live. "The Sons of Tuireann and the Blood Fine" also has a great melodic folk quality to it until the black metal breakdown in it's middle section of course. I've never heard demos by PRIMORDIAL or TYR but I would guess they would be of this quality and now look at them. Therefore I won't be surprised to see this band's name at the top of the bill in the near future."

"In The Halls Of Our Fathers is an exciting release that not only stands up to repeated listens but due to the concept behind the songs actually grows on the listener to such a degree that one feels the urge to bellow about Lugh travelling to the island of long-haired women while walking down the street! Highly recommended."

"However, for a demo, this is a very well produced and clean demo that very well seems ready to be put into the makings of a full-length. The flute elements seem very real and not mechanical or overused, and the black metal side of the music is catchy, yet not too complex, so it doesn't feel too slick or too overproduced. To hear these guys live would probably sound very similar to how they sound on this album, so there is a strong humanistic atmosphere to the music overall. 'In The Halls..' is definitely worth listening to if one is a fan of black metal with folk influences and doesn't make the music sound too cheesy when including the folk elements. Whereas some bands bog down the listener with so many different instruments, Celtachor take the simple route of using one, which is so much more effective in the long run"

"In fact guitars are downtuned giving the music a Doomy vibe and I quite liked that. As regards the vocals, Celtachor’s Stephen Roche strongly reminded me of Skyclad’s Martin Walkyier (funny how all mention of Folk and Metal end up with a reference to Skyclad!). More obvious references would be Mael Mórdha and of course Cruachan but there are also subtle hints of Iron Maiden – as in ‘A Warning To Balor’ plus the band more than compensates for any possible shortcoming by their emotionally charged songwriting skills. In this context I’d like to single out the excellent ‘The Wavesweeper’ with its ultra-heavy and Doomy riffs. Speaking of specific tracks, I even enjoyed the instrumental and atmospheric opening track – a sort of calm before the storm. Very promising stuff. A band to watch out for."

"Although sounds like "In The Halls Of Our Ancient Fathers" is sometimes a bit clumsy and unfinished, but also many successful moments has to offer. But yet if you can make friends with the flute, which occupies a very prominent role in sound, you should Celta choir can get quiet time to his ears. Not earth shattering, but made with heart and soul, blessed with the approaches of character and quality is not quite hopeless."

“Essentially this is a demo. But not your typical, ‘here are some of our songs, will you sign us?’ type. They have a story to tell with this CD and each track can be seen as a chapter of that story. As such the black metal vocals aren’t too grating and can be made out easily. The ancient Celtic themes and atmospheres are well thought out and the band are competent songwriters and musicians. And the venomous vocal style suits the music perfectly. But the production quality is the biggest flaw with this CD. A new Celtachor EP is in the works and is due to be released later in the year. Given the correct recording treatment, this and any other future releases from Celtachor could be something to really look forward to.”

"For a self-released underground output the band has done everything right-convincing material & lyrics plus a more than supporting layout-and every bathorised metal head will enjoy a further typical Irish Black Metal band next to their clan brothers Primordial and Mael Mordha"

"But the Celtic is everything, and so along with the black ‘n roll stylings you also get a strong flavoring of Celtic folk music in the melodies, the principal contributor of which is a whistle, played by the band’s vocalist (Stephen Roche). The whistle and its Celtic melodies, which make their appearance on almost every song to greater or lesser degrees, often stand in place of a lead guitar. That one instrument — not an extravagant collection of traditional instruments that you see featured by other folk-metal or blackened-folk bands — is all it takes. That one simple and very old instrument, played with feeling and skill, lends Celtachor’s music something distinctive and authentic. Put all this together, and what you get is music that’s worth hearing"

"Celtachor tell their stories very atmospheric and believable. Although the music sounds a bit strange at the beginning,after hearing it to convince completely. The only gripe with the demo is at times the sound quality - and this problem would be resolved at a full-length album probably. The flute passages seem to be not very strange. This feeling lies down but after repeated listening and will therefore not be regarded as a negative point - it sounds initially containing just a little unusual. Celtachor has made with "In the halls of our ancient fathers" a great demo on their feet. Everyone should listen because sometimes essential - to other outputs of this band may be serviced with power!"

"However, I enjoyed the demo a lot and I liked the band. What I've also found quite important is that the songs create visual images to the listener and that is one of the band's strongest points. Closing this review I finally managed to recall which band Celtachor's sound reminds me off and to this a good friend of mine and also editor of CND agreed. Skyclad but without the black metal vocals.And yeah, that is a huge compliment from both of us."

"The whole concept is correct and well put together, rather than some 'tasters' are a range of different facets of the band set on display. Respect!These guys still have mountains to move, but the good will and especially the talent already exist: This is a great concept and you can be sure we will hear more about them. A rough diamond waiting to be honed."

"Just for such a demo release has become "In The Halls Of Our Ancient Fathers" a round thing that many regular albums from the sub-genre - no matter whether one wants to call them Celtic Metal, Black Metal or Folk Metal Pagan - by charm and originality depends loose. CELTACHOR prove to be gifted storyteller's who could succeed in the future with just a touch more variety for the same hardness, a sensational debut. First, however, it remains at this gem, which should match the old guard happy." Points: 7 / 10

“Celtachor have created with their debut EP a wonderful work, the Black Folk and Doom Metal with really hot songs mixed. The use of the Irish flute I personally liked best, it does not bother as with many other bands already and bring real medieval atmosphere to the concept. Fans of Skyforger and Co are certain to find pleasure in the Irish band. 9 / 10”

"Overall the vocals are a highlight. They’re caustic and real, well delivered and believable. It’s the same with the drums and the guitar. They’re not good by any measure, and yet they’re right. There are a great many ways this demo could be improved. In spite of its failings it’s infectious because the band have the right ideas and the right approach, even if their playing is frequently a disaster. Perhaps the biggest surprise is that the tin whistle isn’t bad at all - in fact in more than one instance I’m taken back to the likes of Stille Volk, which is a nice trip down memory lane. So, a case of celtic metal to look forward to? Perhaps so. They’ve done it without the stomach bending cheese factor, which is no mean achievement. Keep up at this rate and we could have a band worth boasting in two or three years. Good art too."

"Folk and Pagan Metal are becoming crowded scenes these days, with plenty of new bands jumping into the fray with little more to offer than imitation. CELTACHOR are still a bit rough around the edges, but are stepping forward as good storytellers. I look forward to hearing more from these guys as they mature."

"If one was going to check out this genre to see if it is to their liking, this would be a great start as Celtachor incorporate every element included in genuine Celtic/Folk Black Metal. So cut your teeth on Celtachor! Or if you are an old head like me, who has been down with this type ov material forever, there are things which should surely resonate with your previously acquired taste. From the discography, to the music and lyrics, to the overall Current, this is Blackened Celtic/Folk Metal straight from Ireland and undeniably straight from the heart. Hail Cú Chulainn! Hail Celtachor!"

““In the Halls of our Ancient Fathers” is truly just the beginning for this young Dublin, Ireland act. There is no telling where this band will go on its next release and how Celtachor will sound with a more professional production quality. While the six songs that make up the album (not including the first intro track) do not vary enough from one another to give a lasting impression, each song is very well written and will please anyone seeking a new Celtic/black/folk/thrash metal hybrid to get into. The songs are thrashy, fast, seasoned with searing black metal vocals and smothered with enough Irish Whistle to make your ancient ancestors get out of their graves a do a little jig, and for that Celtachor does deserve some credit."”