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Categories: Black Metal, Folk Metal




Irish Black-Folk Metallers CRUACHAN debuted with the 1995 'Tuatha Na Gael' album and soon made a keen impression on the European Metal scene with their distinct brand of mythological branded music. Just as the lyrics are interlaced with historical themes so is the method of delivery with CRUACHAN's range of instrumentation spanning the expected modern day guitar, bass and drums alongside Uilleann pipes, tin whistles, harp, Greek Bouzouki and B├│dhran goatskin drums. The band had been forged in 1992 by guitarist Keith 'Fay' O'Fathaigh, the former MINAS TIRITH man enrolling John O'Fathaigh and bass player John Clohessy.

The formative stages of the band would witness a fluid line-up and a roll call of early CRUACHAN personnel includes Joanne Hennessy, Steven Anderson, Steven Coleman, Declan Cassidy and Paul Kearns. An opening 1993 demo secured the interest of German label Nazguls Eyrie Productions resulting the 'Tuatha Na Gael' album, released poignantly enough on the Celtic feast of Beltaine. 'Tuatha Na Gael' was laid down by O'Fathaigh siblings, Leon Bias on acoustic guitar, mandolin and bouzouki, bassist John Clohessy, keyboard player Collette O'Fathaigh and drummer Jay O'Niell. Although the originality of the material shone through CRUACHAN did come in for justified criticism of the lacklustre quality of production.

Taking onboard a new female singer, Aisling Hanrahan and guitarist Jay Brennan, CRUACHAN cut a fresh set of demo recordings in 1997. Announcements were made that the band was ready to sign with the major German independent Century Media Records but this proposed deal fell by the wayside and CRUACHAN disbanded later that same year.

Curiousity for the band remained undiminished though and in January of 1999 Keith and John O' Fathaigh brought the band back to life. CRUACHAN signed up new drummer Joe Farrell in late 1999 and a deal was quickly secured with the Dutch Hammerheart label for the album 'The Middle Kingdom', this outing signalling the introduction of singer Karen Gilligan. CRUACHAN signed up new drummer Joe Farrell in late 1999. In 2001 the group tackled a rendition of the old Irish ballad 'Ride On', even managing to entice Shane MacGowan of THE POGUES to lend backing vocals. MacGowan also featured strongly on the 'Folklore' album, contributing lead vocals to the song 'Spancill Hill'. That August the 'Tuatha Na Gael' record was granted a remastered re-release, this revised version adding a clutch of 1997 recorded demo tracks.

A significant lave date came in March of 2003 as CRUACHAN performed in St. Petersburg, Russia at a St. Patricks Day festival. The band inducted the dextrous Ed Gilbert to handle keyboard, tin whistle, banjo, acoustic guitar and bosco jays in January of 2003. Flautist John O' Fathaigh split away from the band in mid 2002 but made a return in May of 2003 for the 'Pagan' album, produced by Al Cowen and recorded at Radio Na Life Studios in Dublin. By August O' Fathaigh was out of the picture once again. The cover artwork for 'Pagan' was created by the leading JRR Tolkien illustrator and conceptual artist from 'The Lord Of The Rings' movies artist John Howe.

CRUACHAN parted ways with Karmageddon Media in early 2005. They would, however, issue one last recording through the label, an expanded version of their 1994 'Celtica' demo complete with previously unheard material. New recordings for Greek label Black Lotus Records would be announced as featuring a guesting Martin Walkyier of SABBAT, SKYCLAD and THE CLAN DESTINED repute. The band launched into their 'Pagan Invasion ' European tour in September with support from BLACK MESSIAH.

The band entered Sun Studios in Dublin during January 2006 to craft a new album entitled 'The Morrigan's Call'. CRUACHAN contracted the album with Germany's AFM Records in June.

Drummer Joe Farrell left CRUACHAN in January 2007 due to "personal reasons." He was replaced by Colin Purcell.

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