Celtic Metal Forged In Anger
Hand of Kaillach are a Celtic Metal act from Edinburgh who blend together elements of their homeland with a clear determination to explore metal’s outer edges. Husband and wife duo John and Sophie Fraser only formed in 2020 but already look like a force to be reckoned with in metal circles.
The beginning of Failte, the first track from Shade Beyond by Hand of Kaillach sounds like an excerpt from Merlin when he is reciting spells. Then it just rips out of your speakers with a pure metal sound full of menace and defiance. However, under the assault of sound is a clear Celtic tune that lifts it from being a run of the mill metal track into something very interesting indeed. There are small hints of folk in the background that break through and keep you listening intently. Fathoms starts with a traditional tune which gives away to the spitting defiance of the singing backed up with ear splitting guitar work. Overwhelm, the third track does just that as you just succumb to the wall of noise which sounds like a hybrid of Big Country and Slipknot! White Horizon begins with a very subtle plucked tune that leads into a soft Kate Bush style vocal with a much more restrained backing. You are waiting for the metal to take over and this song doesn’t disappoint, but it then reverts to the vocal which, with a harder edge to the tune starts to sound more like Siouxsie and the Banshees. With the contrast kept up through the song the anger of the vocals is even more unsettling. The finale has the female voice asserting herself and her tune before finally vanquishing her aggressive foe. It is my favourite track on the EP. The final track, In Tempest Wrought, is a seven minute opus that gets straight into the snarling voice which sounds like a Klingon battle song. It is a suitably loud and uncompromising finish to a genuinely different set of songs.
Hand of Kaillach won’t be to everyone’s taste but if you love the darkest edges of the metal genre and want something different I strongly urge you to check out this unique band with a unique vision that they will not compromise on.