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High quality Irish metal - 91%

quickbeam, June 24th, 2012

This is an excellent metal album, predominantly doom but with folk influence. The work captures the spirit of Irish mythology very well, and serves as a soundtrack to the bitter and tragic tales of old. Every song here is performed with great power and emotion.

The music is mainly slow to mid-pace, though it does get fast at certain points. Definitely a nice variety in tempo throughout this record. All instruments are heard clearly due to the clean production, and they all sound extremely pleasing. The guitar tone is perfect. The riffs, while never especially complex, never fail to hook the listener. These guys sure know how to write songs. The vocals are, to me, a highlight. Basically clean all the way through, the singer can enunciate fantastically. To me, this is a timeless sort of voice, one which could easily have been heard when the Irish myths were first told. It is full of strength, and has an understated passion. Complementing these, the band makes tasteful use of acoustic guitars, piano and flute.

The lyrics are thoughtful and, at times, poetic. The theme is usually personal struggle, and this is often fit into a story – the most clear example being the title track, a saga about betrayal and politics in the old Irish kingdoms. My one complaint about this album is this track, actually, because it begins so magnificently, but never quite reaches an appropriately powerful conclusion.

This album is highly recommended. 45 minutes of metal majesty. The 10 minute long opener, ‘Atlas of Sorrow’, is one of those songs that’s very difficult not to sing along to (sometimes a problem in public as the refrain happens to be ‘you will all burn!’) All songs are very catchy, despite often having slightly unusual structures. Some of the best use of piano I’ve heard in metal. Lashings of saga spirit. Just a great album, really.

Epos - 100%

promitheas, April 19th, 2008

I had the opportunity, to see Mael Mordha live a couple of days before, here in Athens. Although they played support to one of my favorite bands, Primordial, they forced me by their music to buy their recently album, Gealtacht Mael Mórdha . I have to mention that i had ignorance for this band before. Now I thank my fortune for this luck.

First of all the guys kick ass in live. Their appearance as Skyclads (Ancient Celtic warriors who believe that sky can protect them in battle, so they were painting their naked bodies in blue and white) is unique and well matched with their music.

And the music, ohhh the music is the real thing. For me is the second best epic metal album after Doomsword’s, My Name Lives on, o that I have heard this year. The cd has 7 incredible unique metal songs that they don’t follow the regular structure of couple –chorus, but they pass through a metallic orgasm which is been followed by an emotional escalation. Generally their music can be described as epic doom metal, and if we want to mention some of their influences we could say that Bathory, Candlemass and Primordial are the bands that have stabilized their sound with one or another way.

Let see things more carefully. The opening song is Atlas of Sorrow. It starts with a horn sound and a drum rhythm. After 50 seconds a flute tune is appeared and the song begins with a doom riff .Although, the basic melody of the song it comes from piano witch follows the song at the middle, it is very evocative. The song changes riffs twice before it ends with the second piano’s appearance. Magnificent melody, magnificent song .The next song is Godless Commune of Sodom. It starts again with doom mood and a singer, to follow the riff. But this is the first song where we have increase of speed with a great fast riff to break our neck! The song is ending as it started. Third song and sorry I haven’t words to describe it! The Struggle Eternal is one of the most epic songs that I have ever heard in my thirty years fucking life! Curse of the Bard for the next, and I am admiring the way that these guys write metal. A fast and furious riff breaks, the epic feeling is full and some of you maybe recognize Primordial’’s influences. The fifth song is a phenomenon. A Window of Madness is unique and the best song that has been written the last 5 years. The escalation of the song is just perfect, the melody is fantastic, also we have some brutal vocals in chorus and if I will die in next hour I would listening this fucking song at the end. Just listen it. The last two songs Gealtacht Mael Mordha and Minions of Manannan are two excellent doom metal elegies with unbelievable structure and escalation .Especially Minions of Manannan’s riff reminds me Candlemass stuff.

In conclusion we have an album which great riffs, real metal melodies, very clever use of the lyrics and unique epic metal feeling are its ingredients. Consider also one very good performer (I confess that some times the way that he is singing reminds me Serj Tankian of SOAD), the characteristic use of Celtic flute and piano, plus some parts with acoustic guitar mixed up with doom riffs and travel with them in the holy land of Ancient Ireland.

If I have to choose one song from this album i will say A Window of Madness.
But all of the rest of the songs are just perfect as I said before. Give to yourselves an opportunity and listen to them, and be sure that if you touch them you will all burn!!!

Gaelic Doom Metal! - 92%

Imtormentor, March 25th, 2007

Mael Mórdha is one of the most unique metal bands in the entire world. After all, you won't have much luck finding another Gaelic Doom Metal band...Or a band that dresses up like Gaels from about a thousand years ago with traditional Gaelic clothing with blue body paint for live shows.

I was a bit surprised to see the band had formed back in 1998 and have just recently (past couple of years) began to gain popularity. Gealtacht Mael Mórdha is their second full-length cd.

The cd contains 7 total tracks, including 5 new songs that have never been released and two re-recorded versions of older songs released on separate EPs (Atlas of Sorrow and Godless Commune of Sodom). I was very impressed with the lyrics on the whole Cluain Tarbh album, so I was anxious to hear Gealtacht to see how good of a follow-up it would be. I wasn't let down one bit.

The entire cd is very well-written, but there were three tracks that really caught my attention: "Atlas of Sorrow", "Curse of the Bard", and the title track "Gealtacht Mael Mórdha".

Although "Atlas of Sorrow" surpasses 10 minutes in length, the last 4+ minutes of the song are great. The best part of the entire cd appears on the song "Curse of the Bard" from about 2 minutes into the song until the very end. The riffs are great, but the vocals are the icing on the cake. The entire cd is filled with melodic guitar riffs with a piano and great sounding vocals.

The bottom line is if you've never heard Mael Mórdha before, you need to buy Cluain Tarbh and Gealtacht Mael Mórdha.