Archive for Cnoc an Tursa

Northern Oak and more confirmed for Valkyrian Festival 2014

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 11th February 2014 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

ValkFest14-MarchAnnouncement

Suavely dressed Yorkshire folk metal septet Northern Oak have been announced to support Belgian symphonic metallers Azylya at this year’s Valkyrian Festival, which will take place from 21st November to 23rd November, while the gothic metal opera septet Aonia have been announced to support Dutch progressive metallers Ex Libris the following night at this year’s Valkyrian Festival.

Joining Northern Oak to support Azylya are Midlandic female-fronted thrash sextet Chemikill who will be gracing Valkyrian Festival with their old school metal sound while joining Aonia to support Ex Libris will be Glaswegian death metal thugs Exile The Traitor.

Two local acts, in the form of instrumental death metal trio Bharghest and classic rockers Alice In Thunderland, have also been announced for Valkyrian Festival. Bharghest will be sharing the stage with Scottish black metal royalty Cnoc An Tursa on the first night where as Alice In Thunderland will be joining Aonia and Exile The Traitor as support to Ex Libris on the final night of Valkyrian Festival 2014.

Valkyrian Festival will take place at Basement in Bridlington from Friday 21st November to Sunday 23rd November. The event is all-ages but valid ID will be required for the bar. It will also be the first edition of the Valkyrian Festival to feature a European headliner. Tickets are available for £15 from this location. The line-up is as follows:

Fri. 21st November
CNOC AN TURSA
(Headliner) – Bharghest (Main Support) – Drekavac Pantheon

Sat. 22nd November
AZYLYA
(Headliner) – Sakara (Main Support) – Northern Oak ChemikillMørktår – Divided We Fall

Sun. 23rd November
EX LIBRIS
(Headliner) – Reign of Fury (Main Support) Alice In ThunderlandAoniaExile The Traitor

Valkyrian Festival is sponsored by The Crypt of Curiosities and Black Phoenix Rising Metal Forums. For further details, head over to the official Valkyrian Festival Facebook page. Other Valk-Fest news can be found on the official Valk-Fest Twitter.

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Ex Libris, Drekavac, Mørktår and Reign of Fury announced for Valkyrian Festival 2014

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 21st January 2014 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Drekavac have been announced as support to fellow Scottish black metallers Cnoc an Tursa on Friday 21st November at Basement in Bridlington as part of Valkyrian Festival, which is in aid of Rape Crisis. Founded in 2011 by lead singer Hyperion, guitarist Mite, and drummer Mephistopheles, Drekavac made their debut onto the underground metal scene via a limited CD demo entitled The Litanies of the Dead in 2012. Inspired by black metal from its inception to its modern incarnations and inspired by folk, death metal and other musical elements, the band’s music was resplendent in its aggressive and melodic vocals, guitar work and relentless drums.

Less than a year later, the band’s fluid line up solidified with Xross on bass and Sceadugenga on Lead guitars. The band recently entered the studio to record their debut album Incipit Demonas Pandorum, which promises to be an impressive release.

Keeping in the vein of black metal, London misanthropic black metal coven Mørktår have been announced for the second day of Valkyrian Festival on 22nd November, where they will be sharing the stage with Belgium’s Azylya as well as Hamerex, Sakara and Divided We Fall. This will be Mørktår’s second show in Bridlington, following their show on 22nd November 2013 where they supported Finnish death metal titans Re-Armed at an almost sold-out show.

Created in 2006 as a solo project, Mørktår had never released a demo until an anonymous drummer was hired in 2008. Cries from the Dungeon was originally self-released in just London and Bergen, Norway. After this release, the drummer parted from Mørktår due to personal and musical differences with Thrym Mørktår. Again Mørktår was a solo project. This time self-releasing Reaped by Death E.P. Mørktår signed onto Thorn Laceration Records in early 2009 and re-released Cries from the Dungeon and Reaped by Death. Fra dette Mørk… was another self-release, limited to just 9 copies with blood stained cassette covers. In 2011, Vordhr (ex-Salems Orchid) was hired and an instrumental demo was released, limited again to just 9 copies on cassette only. Later in 2011 Mørktår recorded another demo, Now Cold and Dead… this time with a new bassist, Morrigan. This demo caught the attention of Salute Records from Sweden, who re-released it on a professional CD-R format. In 2013, a new drummer in the name of Sinmara has been added to the roster, replacing Vordhr, who left in 2012, creating an even more stable line up than the previous.

Bringing with them a more 80s styled thrash and NWOBHM dominated sound to the final night of Valkyrian Festival 2014 with them are metal band Reign of Fury, who played their festival show at Bloodstock 2012. Since the release of their highly acclaimed debut album the band have made an impressive impact on the live scene, becoming well known for their shows. Reign of Fury are also currently working on their second album which is due for release later this. The band commented:

Reign of Fury are very excited to be part of a fantastic event in aid of such an important cause. As a band that’s highly motivated to use their music for positive effect, playing Valkyrian Festival has been an ambition since we first found out about it. The blend of bands planned for 2014 make this one to watch, and we can’t wait to hit the stage and play for the NE fans!

Dutch progressive powerhouse Ex Libris will also be making their return to the UK as the final headliner for Valkyrian Festival 2014, making this their first UK show since The Dames of Darkness Festival in 2013 where they support fellow Dutch metallers Delain. The band whom features the very talented soprano vocalist Dianne van Giersbergen, also the frontwoman for German symphonic metallers Xandria, released their new album Medea on 18th January. Ex Libris will also be playing a number of shows around Europe this year, including one with Azylya in Holland on 22nd February. Further Ex Libris news can be found at their official Facebook page.

Valkyrian Festival will take place at Basement in Bridlington from Friday 21st November to Sunday 23rd November. The event is all-ages but valid ID will be required for the bar. It will also be the first edition of the Valkyrian Festival to feature a European headliner. Tickets are available for £15 from this location. The line-up is as follows:

Fri. 21st November

CNOC AN TURSA
Drekavac
Pantheon

Sat. 22nd November

AZYLYA
Sakara
Mørktår
Divided We Fall

Sun. 23rd November

EX LIBRIS
Reign of Fury

Valkyrian Festival is sponsored by The Crypt of Curiosities and Black Phoenix Rising Metal Forums. For further details, head over to the official Valkyrian Festival Facebook page. Other Valk-Fest news can be found on the official Valk-Fest Twitter.

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Cnoc an Tursa – The Giants of Auld

Posted in CD, Folk, Metal, North of the Wall with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 2nd March 2013 by underthenorthernstar

Cnoc an Tursa
“The Giants of Auld”
Released: 25th February 2013
Folk/Black Metal
Released via Candlelight records

I’ve been waiting for the new Cnoc an Tursa album to be released for a good while now; their 2008 demo has sterling songwriting, and their sound was begging for a bigger release. So when I heard that they had been signed to Candlelight Records in October last year, I started getting excited; the number of folk/black metal bands who have released near-perfect albums on candlelight is staggering – Winterfylleth, Wodensthrone, Falloch, Altar of Plagues, the list goes on. So, what was the result of such an immaculate pairing? The newly released The Giants of Auld, of course.

With a scream of “Sons of Alba, rise in the face of tyranny!” the album begins. And what an album; the sound is an intense blend of folky melodies, intense black metal and haunting, deeply emotional choirs and flute – the closing track, Blаr na h-Eaglaise Brice, is a purely instrumental, minimalistic celtic folk piece, and one of the best of its kind that I have heard – bringing together a hugely immersive atmosphere. Despite Cnoc an Tursa not being a band in quite the same pigeonhole as their contemporaries, the achieve a very similar sound that, to me, is equally conveying of the band’s passion for its country’s history. One could be forgiven for worrying, having listened to the 2008 demo, that their earlier songs (which, for the most part, comprise the first half of the album) could have become over produced, too clean. Thankfully, this is not a problem; the album is not without an edge, not without its humanity.

The songwriting (let me leave no doubts about this) is flawless. The Lion of Scotland and Hail Land of my Fathers are completely full of hooks, and you will find yourself humming each and every individual melody in those songs, which is something very hard to achieve on what is very predominantly a black metal album. Something that this album “gets”, is that you can have huge, catchy melodies without being at all cheesy. I never for one moment found myself saying that a particular section was misplaced. In addition to this, the band never lets melody cheapen the album; a problem that many bands have is they oversaturate their sound with keys, making the songs “catchy”, but far less powerful. Keys are definitely present in this album, but they very much provide a supporting role, building the sound from the foundations up.

So, I have not been disappointed; more encouraged. Cnoc an Tursa continue to be a fantastic band. This album is consistent, immersive, and above all, genuine. Very few metal bands can communicate quite this level of passion through their music, and I will come back to this album time and time again. Fantastic work, and one of the best releases of the year from one of the best bands to come out of Scotland.

5/5
Alasdair “Scotch Egg” Dunn