Gealtacht Mael Mórdha
Rock Hard (Deutchland). 2007
MAEL MORDHA try also on its second album to strike the balance between mainly odd doomy Heavy Metal and gaelic music. The album’s main theme focuses on the King Mael Mordha, who lived at the turning point of the the eleventh century in Ireland. Similar to Primordial, the Irishmen convince with much emotion and long, but varied instrumental passages without however reaching the songwriting genius of old Bathory or Doomsword. In addition the accusing song timing irritates. The crazy coverart doesn’t help either. Very nice but not essential. 6.5/10
Metal.de (Deutchland). 2007
Ireland is a wonderful country. Not only because lebensbereichernde such things as the delicious Guinness, or the beautiful landscapes are located, is seen but musically the green land a true source of good music. In addition to the land and people of PRIMORDIAL MOURNIING Beloveth also MAEL Mórdha are a shining star in the firmament of deeply moving, emotional music.
“Gealtacht Mael Mórdha is the second album by the Irishman, which is actually a stylistic blend of the aforementioned bands, with the official style of the band called Futsal, is doom metal. The Doom-stroke side, they learn by the slow and heavy parts in the style of Mourning Beloveth and flashy, full of fervor and passion plays staged to draw their intensity was not modified by the brilliant vocals, often reminiscent of the energetic masterpieces by Primordial. The whole thing is then enriched by a good amount of folklore, which emphasizes the mystical component is even stronger. Very well done are mainly the continuous interplay between hypnotic slowness and the resulting rage burst forth. A thrilling contrast, when the pent-up energy that is discharged into the Doom has built passages before, with a bombastic blast again.
Content is concerned, the Quartet with old stories about battles and evil kings, which is also reflected in the title (in German: “The madness Mael Mórdhas”) manifests. The attachment to the homeland and the interest in Irish history is reflected also by the costumes from the band, as they pay with their own, modeled on the ninth-century costumes and with their war paint, the history seems tribute.
If a band has already existed for almost ten years and just their second album brings out one could conjecture that the music in the lives of musicians playing only a minor role. When an album, but with enthusiasm and energy only to bursting, as in ‘Gealtacht Mael Mórdha is the case, we suspect that the guys all their heart and soul into their musical self-stick, and then by the global audience with such a genius Music will be rewarded, we can finally really only be thankful that there is a country like Ireland. 9/10
Lords of Metal (Netherlands). 2007
When A.A. Nemtheanga of Primordial panegyrizes a band, I am ultra excited to get to know that band. That is the case with the Irish bards of Mael Mordha. In 2005 Primordial even released a split 7” on vinyl with them. So I was very satisfied when their second album ‘Gealtacht Mael Mordha’ fell in my letterbox to review. The music is baptised Gaelic doom metal, but there is lashings of breaks and accelerations in the music that prone to pagan black metal, an influence one may notice in the blue war paint on the faces of the band members as well.
Mael Mordha derives its name from a king of Leinster who fought a famous battle on Good Friday 1014 against Brian Boru, the then high king of Eire in Cluain Tarbh – Clontarf (Meadow of Bulls). This was the theme of their previous album ‘Cluain Tarbh’ too. On ‘Gaeltacht Mael Mordha’ continues the story of Mael Mordha and lyrics deal with the thoughts of the killed in battle king during the battle up to the moment of his death.
Mael Mordha was founded in 1998 by singer Roibéard O Bogail (Rob) who plays also piano, bodhràn and tin whistle and in the course of time he was surrounded by a changing outfit of skilled musicians. The album starts with ‘Atlas Of Sorrow’, a song of respectable length (ten minutes). This contains already all the elements of atmospheric doom mixed with faster dark metal parts. A ship sails into the port and the whistle sounds very melancholic, just like the traditional clean vocals. Riffs are not drawn out but tightly measured and dignified. There is an acceleration when vocals remind me a bit of Primordial (but Rob has not such a broad range as Nemtheanga) and it comes near to black metal screams. This is truly very Irish, as Irish as can be. The band makes you feel and taste the atmosphere of the Emerald Isle. ‘Godless Commune Of Sodom’ soon has a shift from unwieldy riffs to fiery guitars. Vocals are solemn and grave, almost theatrical. Some of you will not instantly like it, but you have to let yourself go and be immersed in this authentic atmosphere of this record. Mark the magnificent, sensitive guitar solo towards the end. This alternation between slow atmospheric doom and angry, furious eruptions can be found in the other songs as well, with ‘The Struggle Eternal’ as fastest and heaviest track. Absolutely captivating is ‘A Window Of Madness’ which is a longer one again and it perfectly switches between compelling melancholy (the incidental piano notes at the beginning and flutes!) and a grandiose climax/outburst which reminds me a bit of Mourning Beloveth, but it is deeply rooted in pagan metal. This song initially verges of traditional doom in the vein of Solitude Aeturnus, Forsaken and Candlemass but the gloomy parts are followed by marvellous stomping riffs and Rob who gets furious and excited (that’s how we like him best) in the midst of hectic “blackish” guitars. Very compelling! Not only Primordial adepts, but also fans of Bathory, Waylander and Solstice should have a listen to this. 90/100
Metal Hammer (Deutchland). December 2005
After Primordial here is another Irish band ready to win their first international laurels. Mael Mórdha have been developing an individual style in the four demos released since they started the band five years ago: Emotionalism and epic poetry play an important role, but they are not taking it too far, since the four guys have kept a wild and rough temper, which leads to driving guitars and dramatic song-structures. Time and again Mael Mórdha vary the tempo, put in folk elements or piano sounds and singer Rob delights with his many-facetted voice with a lot of expression. Because of its uniqueness the music is hard to express in words, but roughly imagine a mixture of Falkenbach, Manowar and Primordial with doom and folk elements added, great melodies and a dark atmosphere – and you will get a little closer to what it sounds like. Excellent band! Ireland is a beautiful country after all…
Terrorizer (UK) Issue 138. December 2005.
It’s comforting to know that even as some branches of metal become increasingly popular and fashionable, there will always be certain offshoots no self-respecting hipster would ever dare approach. It’s safe to say that “Ceol Breatha Gaelach” or Gaelic Doom” is one such untouchable area. Mael Mórdha are the sole exponents of this self-catagorised sound, an atmospheric doom variant focusing on heroic tales of ancient Irish history. In much the same way that many Scandanavian BM groups take inspiration from delving into their national heritage, Mael Mórdha dig deep into Gael culture to invest their epic metalwith real gravitas. There will always be an element of live action role play to this kind of thing, especially since Mórdha don traditional garb for live performances, but the band know their stuff, as a glance at their fascinating website makes abundantly clear. Conceptual hi-jinks are all very well, yet they’d count for little if “Cluain Tarbh” wasn’t such an excellent debut, a grand, gloomy, battleworn curmudgeon of an album bursting with Pict-ish pleasures.