This is the largest collaborative effort the Irish metal scene has ever witnessed and the first time this has ever been done.
The outcome of this project will be three charity albums unlike any other in the history of Irish metal. It is the first time a country has made a series of albums.
Like most industries during the current global pandemic, the Irish metal scene has been hit extremely hard. With live venues, recording/rehearsal studios, and international travel for tours out of action, a wealth of creative Irish metal talent has witnessed their revenue and careers collapse overnight.
The project is designed not only to breathe life back into a creative community who have had their livelihoods devastated, but also to give back to other communities in need.
Founded in 2021 by acclaimed Irish metal musicians Darragh O’Connor (Horrenda/Aborted Earth) and Shannon Bowman (Aborted Earth), the core concept is modeled after a similar U.S. project in the 2000s with the legendary Roadrunner United.
A team of Irish musicians including Restive Nation’s Tony Carberry, Zhora’s, Tom Woodlock, and Two Tales of Woe frontman, Carl King assembled to help lead the project and work to produce the songs.
Speaking of the project, Darragh O’Connor commented: “The metal scene in Ireland has always been criminally underrated and underrepresented. With only this year, RTE finally covered the scene in their “My Tribe” series. We have been hit extremely badly by the pandemic effectively wiping out live music and putting a lot of projects on hold.
In that struggle, a lot of us have built out our own recording setups. The time is right to make this happen. The goal is to kick start the scene again post-pandemic and provide all profits to a charity. We have chosen the children’s charity Barnardos Ireland to be our 2021 charity.”
The project will release three albums, and a documentary. Each album will feature tracks from teams made up of over 120 musicians from all across the island of Ireland. With members from the biggest underground bands in the Irish scene today.
Where did the idea come from
Darragh talked about where the idea came from “ myself and a lot of folks my age in the scene grew up with Roadrunner United, so it appears that this project is something that a lot of us wanted to do for years.
I like side projects and I love working with other musicians. In fact, I was halfway through my next solo album (which was going to feature a lot of artists from the scene) when I saw a Facebook post from Burning Metal Ireland’s Phil Keaveney talking about Roadrunner United. I was just like “okay how can I actually do this?” And I went from there.
I believe this was the right time, thanks to technology and the position we found ourselves in to make this happen. Roadrunner United gave us the roadmap to do a project like this. But never before has an entire country made a set of albums.”
Restive Nation’s Tony Carberry sheds some light on a past project that attempted this kind of thing before: “”Riff City” may have failed but it did highlight that there is a genuine desire and need to collaborate within the Irish metal scene.
In early 2021, Darragh, a member of my initial project group, resurrected the failed project, and it has spawned into something amazing. With his contacts, organisational and project management skills, he has been the driving force behind the success of this project, along with the insatiable appetite to create, by all of the musicians involved.
I couldn’t be more proud of what we’ve all achieved together. I hope that what we’ve done so far, will continue to grow for years to come.”
Tom Woodlock from zhOra added: “The pandemic was tough enough being isolated from friends and family, but having no creative outlet was genuinely the worst part for me. Having the All-Ireland Metal Project to focus on week in, week out, really became the thing that kept me going day to day.
The added benefit of getting to create with a lot of people that I otherwise wouldn’t have met, really made it something special. There’s fantastic music here, but most importantly – it benefits a good cause. I’m very proud of what we achieved, and what we’ve set up for the future.”
And finally, Carl King from Two Tales of Woe chimed in with: “The All Ireland Metal Project came at a time where my confidence in myself as a musician and performer was at an all-time low. I was not long over a heart attack and was very unsure of myself. but Seeing everyone banding together gave me strength and I am a part of some amazing tracks. I am so so proud of each and every person involved.”
The story so far
The project has dropped some samples of the tracks to come on their social media and updates on their Youtube. The first album can be pre-ordered online now via this location, with an immediate download of the two taster tracks: ‘Necro Terror‘ and ‘Aphasia‘. The lead single, ‘Oiwamonogatari” drops on Friday, September 10th, 2021.
Lisa “Venus de Vilo” Harris had this to say about the single: “This Japanese Folk Horror inspired symphonic metal track is the result of MONTHS of many Zoom meetings, long-winded voice notes and Red Bull fuelled songwriting all-nighters between the Team. Team Oiwa hope you let their rotten little track fester in your ears (and soul) and thank you in advance for your inevitable worship of our project’s future horrific musical endeavors.”
While the album will end up on Spotify eventually, the crew have emphasized that this is for charity and as such urge you to buy the album & merch (including limited edition bundles) directly from the team to help the charity.
These can be pre-ordered online via this link.
The project can be contacted for information, sponsorship, press, etc. via email email@example.com, or their socials via this link.
And direct donations can be made to Barnardos Ireland via the link HERE.
What can folks expect?
Darragh: “No matter what genre of metal you like, or which of the bands you like, you will find something here for you across these three albums. Each album will take you on a journey through what this amazing country has to offer and may serve as a starting point to discover more of what we do in our metal scene.”
Venus de Vilo W/Team Oiwa – Oiwa Monogatari
Oleka – Aphasia
Extreme Metal Is PC Now, Get Used To It Boomer
Outis feat. Jamie Murphy – Fire in the Sky
Local Man Ruins Everything
Make Them Suffer
We Couldn’t Think of Lyrics So We Just Ripped Off Huey Lewis
**Bandcamp Bonus** – JSR – Money, Money, Money (Abba Cover)
All tracks mastered by JSR Audio
Personnel of the first album are as follows:
Cormac Jordan, Darragh O’Connor, Jamie Murphy, Conor M James, Tom Woodlock, Carl King, Hytham Martin, Tony Carberry, Veronika Švecová, Thomas Doherty, Simon Cochrane, Stephen Cannon, Jim Spillane, Ciara Hayes, Shannon Bowman, Colin ßólger, Shaun O’Brien, Keith Smith, Tomás Hynes, Josh Sid Robinson, Sean Doyle, Jack Penders, Dave Quinn, Lisa Harris, Dave Mooney, Michal Bugajski, Chris Craig, Jonny Scimitar, Tom Moylan, David Fogarty, Jimmy Wynne, Roni Vox
The first release from the All Ireland Metal Project “Aiséirí” will be released on Friday, September 17th, 2021.
The lead single “Venus de Vilo – Oiwamonogatari” drops on Friday, September 10th, 2021. The second album will drop in late 2021 and the third in 2022.