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Mael Mórdha: Damned When Dead

Album Review

Irish epic metal veterans finally make their break

Formed in the late 90s, Mael Mórdha have long sat alongside countrymen such as Primordial and Waylander, a part of the loose movement often referred to as Celtic metal. All the same, despite a sound reception within the underground, the band tend to be overlooked, a situation Damned When Dead will hopefully rectify.

For those unaware of the band’s sound, modern Primordial are the most helpful comparison, the epic, doomy numbers built on a foundation of steady percussion, big riffs and heroic (and for the most part clean) vocals. 

Indeed, like Primordial, it’s these vocals that frequently take the fore and prove polarising, the melodramatic singing and carefully delivered storytelling taking some getting used to. But like the music, they’re a slow-growing affair, and the eight songs here reveal their depth and rich emotional tapestry, offering a folk-tinged and emotive experience that’s rather more earthy than much of what sits under the folk metal banner these days.

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