Back in 1992, three young Irishmen, Keith Fay, John Fay and John Clohessy, took their love of Celtic history and mythology, blended it with traditional Irish music and metal, and in doing so, created a whole new genre of music. The band has become known the world over as Cruachan and the genre has become Folk Metal.
The Celtica demo in 1994 showcased the band's talent through an arsenal of Irish traditional and conventional metal instruments and led to a recording deal with Nazguls Eyrie Productions in Germany. Debut album, Tuatha na Gael, was unveiled in 1995 and, despite suffering from poor production, became the label's biggest selling record and a cult classic.
The addition of female folk vocals in 1997 saw the band move closer to the mainstream from their underground roots, while continuing to write and play for a diverse cross-section of audiences from the worlds of metal, folk and Celtic music. During this period, the band honed their live skills and stage presence, along the way creating a huge international fan-base and the uniquely recognisable image for which Cruachan is known today.
Hammerheart Records entered the fray in Oct. 99. The resulting album, The Middle Kingdom, appeared in June 2000 and was followed by another extensive period of touring, including a tour of their home country of Ireland.
Folklore was unleashed in 2002 to huge critical acclaim from all quarters, including top marks in magazines such as Rock Hard, Legacy and Aardshok. Produced by, and featuring guest vocals from, the legendary Shane MacGowan of The Pogues, a single, Ride On, entered the Irish Top 40 singles chart. A subsequent European tour saw the band headline festivals in Germany and Norway.
Lord of the Rings artist, John Howe, was called in for the artwork on 2004's Pagan – yet another defining moment for the band. The following tour saw the band visit Russia – the first Irish band in history, metal or otherwise, to have been invited to play there. Indeed, such was the reception that the band were asked back to play in Russia a further eight times, culminating in an invitation from the Irish Embassy to headline the St Patrick's Day festivities in Moscow during 2012. During this visit, the band also appeared in Belarus.
In 2005, Cruachan signed with AFM Records and recorded their 5th studio album. The Morrigan's Call, which surpassed the sales records for all previous albums.
Long-time female vocalist, Karen Gilligan, departed the band in 2010 and Cruachan decided to return to their roots blending folk with extreme metal, bringing in session singers for live performances of older material. A three-song demo led to a new contract with Candlelight Records and the hugely successful 'Blood on the Black Robe' opus was released in 2011, winning over a new generation of metal fans and securing the band's first tour of South America.
2012 was another landmark year with two new additions to the band. A second guitarist, Kieran Ball, was drafted in to help reproduce the band's material live, along with a new bassist, Eric Fletcher, following the retirement of original four-stringer, John Clohessy. The beginning of 2013 saw the introduction of a new drummer in the shape of Argentinean sticksman, Mauro Frisson.
A revitalised Cruachan begin their 20th anniversary with their greatest material to date written and ready for recording as wellas tour dates already planned across the world.
The battle goes on!