Trio Corr Mhona took to the stage first. Being less familiar with this band, I wasn’t sure what to expect and after seeing them play I’m still not 100% sure about what I think. They had some really great elements; like the incorporation of the Irish language into some songs and having duo vocals on others. Although they did not have a lot of presence on stage – which poses as an obstacle to getting into thing- they definitely aren’t generic so I think fans of certain niches of metal would appreciate Corr Mhona a lot more. They are definitely a breath of fresh air in some respects as they are doing something very different from a lot of the Irish bands on the scene at the moment.
Next up were SODB. Again, another puzzling one for me. They are undeniably good at what they do which is that raw, bone-chilling black metal. They have a malevolent undertone to their music and a great energy. Similarly to Core Mona they have multiple vocalists which, while entertaining to hear the contrasting tones the appeal of having an obvious front man is sacrificed. Definitely one for black metal fans to check out.
Mael Mordha finally invaded the stage. The first time I saw Mael Mordha live was at Redemption Festival in February of this year and I was instantly a convert. They blew me away with their showmanship and conviction and I’ve been a fan ever since. It is rare to find a band that can have that effect so instantaneously.
Seeing Mael Morda in the humbler setting of The Pint made for a much more intimate experience, making it easier to feel like you’re part of the Mael Mordha brotherhood.
From the outset, the crowd we completely captivated, drinking in the war paint and the unquenchable energy that Mael Mordha play with. Launching their new album ‘Damned when Dead’, it can sometimes be the case that a band will focus on the new material, leaving those of us less familiar with the new out in the dark. This was fortunately not the case for Mael mordha’s launch. They played a great variety of old and new. Songs like Bloody Alice got everyone involved in the event. All Eire will Quake is a personal favourite, that gloomy bass line leading into the rolling drums makes it hard to suppress your inner warlord. One of the most attractive traits of Mael Mordha is not just their ability to clearly tell a story, it’s the intelligence behind their approach to music. They take the historical and traditional stories and tell them through a modern metal medium. Now, any band can do this but not many do it as genuinely and as intellectually as Mael Mordha.
Damned when Dead the track itself is the perfect example of how Mael Mordha always manage to create epic quality in their music. The length of the songs and the eerie, moody qualities of them combine to make smack in the face music. Mael Mordha never fail to disappoint in their live performances. If you are presented with an opportunity to see these guys live I recommend you take it. As for the album, Damned When Dead, I also think it is a vital addition to any self-resepceting metalhead’s collection.