Posted on by Oran

With a thriving underground Metal scene, Ireland has been delivering some of the most exciting new Heavy music of late, and Galway’s Ropemaker has just joined the establishment with their debut single, ‘Blue Fire for Bones’. Find out more from founding member, Dave Slattery below…

Drawing influences from the likes of early Mastodon, Gojira, Pelican, Keelhaul, Russian Circles, and Mono, multi-instrumentalist, Dave Slattery, enrolled the talents of former  IIenkus (Galway-based Metallic Hardcore) drummer, Rory Guyett for an instrumental album, packed with monolithic riffs, unpredictable arrangements, and balls-out HEAVY.

Originally from Portarlington, Laois, Slattery began working on his debut album back in 2019 in Galway, where he has resided since 2004. The debut LP, entitled ‘Interwoven’ features eight brutal cuts of majestic technical, progressive-death compositions that delve into his psyche, resulting in a body of work that stands tall among todays flourishing underground Irish Metal scene.

What once began as a post-rock oriented project with Guyett, Slattery felt a growing disconnect with the music, and decided to steer his creativity in a much heavier style, to which he states; “I had been an avid Metalhead for twenty five years, and decided to put something together, that is far heavier, and more musically challenging than anything I had attempted previously”.

With the album set for release in March, the first single, ‘Blue Fire For Bones’ available today (Thursday, January 26th), on all streaming platforms. Listen below:

Speaking of the single, Slattery comments: “Blue Fire For Bones’ was the second last track I wrote for the album. I was feeling quite happy with how the overall writing process had went so far, and how the drums, and guitars were working together. 

The main driving force to begin with behind this tune in particular was my idea of old school death metal especially in the opening two or three riffs, and knowing when I was writing it, Rory could just lay it down on the double bass to bring out the best in the riffs. 

The tunes veers off into a few other varieties of Metal, before coming back round to its foundation idea.

On the inception of Ropemaker, and the new album, Dave Slattery sat down with us to go into a little more depth on the whole project…

OD – When the material from the album begin to take form?

DAVE – The material for the album began to take shape a little over two years ago. I had done a bunch of demos with Rory Guyett [former Ilenkus drummer] during 2019, which were musically post-rock oriented in a vein similar to two previous EPs I had released, and for whatever reason something wasn’t clicking for me, I just wasn’t excited about the new material I was writing.

Rory Guyett

Leading on from, this I decided to quit releasing music, and just focus on enjoying playing the guitar, but as these things go, a couple of months later I wrote the opening riff to ‘Learning Through Distortion’. Knowing how talented a metal drummer Rory is, and how I have been an avid metalhead for the past 25 years, so I figured: “Why not try and put something together that is far heavier, and more musically challenging that anything i’d attempted previously?“.

When I got the first drum demo back for this tune I knew I was onto something. I could sense the fire in Rory’s playing, and how well the drums complimented the riffs, and from this point on I knew I had something that I found exciting musically, and could expand upon.

OD –  Did you ever consider adding a vocalist?

DAVE – I’ve always had a connection with instrumental rock, and metal music over the years, bands like Pelican, Mogwai, Russian CIrclesKeelhaul, and Mono, to name but a few, have been big inspirations to me over the years.

I enjoy the space and lack of explicit suggestion that instrumental music can provide the artist and listener with. That said, I would also be very much open to working with a vocalist in the future, if I had the good luck to cross paths with the right person.

OD –  What would you consider to be your main source of influence when writing the material?

DAVE – My main source of inspiration, apart from the bands that I will mention later on, would be the simple concept of me trying to write music that grabs me in some way that I can’t immediately explain! It could be something musically very simple, or a bit more complex, or difficult to understand initially, but I have to have the feeling of having come up with something that I can listen to quite a lot of times during the process of making a record, which hopefully still feels like it holds up to my critical listening during, and also after, this process.

Another aspect of the creative process, which is inspiring, is getting the drumming demos back from Rory, his interpretations of the tunes can transform the music, and take them to a different level. Band-wise, the big influences for this record are early Mastodon, Neurosis, YOB, Burnt by the Sun, Pelican, Meshuggah, and Gojira.

OD – Were there any tracks in particular that proved to be difficult to record/ or went through a huge transformation prior to the recording process?

DAVE – Luckily, the recording process while taking a good bit of time in between working full-time, and various other commitments was fairly smooth, as long as I’m happy to endure the usual trial and error that goes into the writing process. Once that’s accomplished, the actual recording, which I do at home, is just a matter of being disciplined every evening, and at weekends, and developing my ear as well as possible to make sure few mistakes are committed to tape as possible.

OD – Do you have any plans to perform any of the songs live?

DAVE – I have no plans for live gigs at the present moment, but it’s definitely something I would consider if the right opportunities came up, and I could get the right individuals together for a live band.

OD – Is there any one song that stands out for you personally on the album, and if so, why?

DAVE -For me the tune, ‘Portable Abyss’ has a special significance. It was the second song I wrote for the record, and for me, it’s the song that defined the new sonic aesthetic, and energy I was looking to create for this album. It’s as heavy as anything I’ve ever written, up until that point, and I feel like there is a gratifying flow in how the tune progresses from start to finish, which is something I value in the context of an instrumental song.

Ropemaker’s debut single, ‘Blue Fire For Bones‘ is out today on all good streaming sites.

For more information, please visit the following links.





Oran O’Beirne 2023